Fortune magazine has ranked Haruno Yoshida, managing director of BT Japan, in its World’s Greatest Leaders list.

​Haruno is number 38 on the 50-strong list which includes Pope Francis in third place and Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel at number 10.

It’s the fourth year Fortune has published the list celebrating those who are “transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same”.

Haruno has 20 years of global sales experience in the communications industry, working for five ICT companies – both western and Japanese – in four countries. Before joining us, she served as general manager at Verizon Business.

Haruno, who’s been BT Japan president since January 2012, is seen as a role model for the advancement of women in business in Japan.

Fortune said: “She holds a unique position as a prominent female executive who raised a child as a single mother. She’s outspoken about the challenges women face, once comparing their workplace disadvantage to ‘being chained by the leg’.

“She has had a bigger megaphone since 2015 when Japan’s powerful business association named her its first female executive.”

Haruno said: “I’ve seen great diversity initiatives within BT, and I want to import all the good things to Japan.​ We have much to offer markets around the world, along with our technology and innovation.”