New York's Most Powerful Women

Fashion designers, finance executives, real estate moguls and New York City's First Lady are all on this year's list of the city's 50 Most Powerful Women, according to Crain's New York Business.

"To be a powerful woman you have to lead an impressive organization, you have to wield influence within your industry, you have to make things happen," said Adrianne Pasquarelli of Crain's New York Business. "That's what all of these women do."

Ellen Futter has made things happen. She is No. 26 on this year's list, up from No. 40 two years ago. She has been president of the American Museum of Natural History for more than two decades. Previously she was the youngest president of a university ever when she oversaw Barnard College.

"I'm the first woman to head an important science institution of this type or a major cultural in New York or to walk into certain boards, I was the only woman," Futter said. "I think there's about a second where you say, 'Oh,' and then you just do your job."

Futter said that to her, power is being able to have an educational impact on the millions of people who visit the museum each year. We asked her how she got to where she is today.

"I think everybody wants to know what the formula is and I don't think there is a formula, except for the following: I think you do have to follow your passion because I think if you're passionate about something you're going to go at it a little harder and a little more effectively," she said.

No doubt the powerful women on the list are passionate about what they do. This year's list had a number of women in the public sector. Deputy Mayor of Housing Alicia Glen got the No. 1 spot. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, and First Lady Chirlane McCray also made the cut.

The list is compiled by a committee of Crain's reporters and editors, including Pasquarelli.

"It's also about their influence. Chirlane is someone who has the mayor's ear, he listens to her, he said that she is one of his trusted advisers -- so that counts when we're putting this list together," Pasquarelli said.

The rankings were determined by the size of the organizations the women lead, budgets and revenue, and what they've done for the city -- accomplishments that Pasquarelli said are important to highlight.

"We don't do a list of the most powerful men and I wondered 'Should we even do this?' but women are still grossly outranked, outnumbered, out-paid by men," Pasquarelli said.

Futter said she agrees.

"Ii think signaling the success that women are continuing to have, women are still breaking barriers there is still a glass ceiling," Futter said. "I think it's very important and I think it's very important for young girls."

Crain's puts out this most powerful women list every other year. The editorial staff said they will continue to do so until women have equality in the workplace.