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While the world of business is mostly dominated by men, powerful women have come along and made their mark in a major way. There’s still a discrepancy regarding the number of men serving in executive positions and how much they’re making. However, considerable progress has been made thus far, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
In the past, more time was devoted to talking about gender inequality in the workplace. Now it appears that there’s less talking going on and more being done. Women are earning positions in some of the most prominent companies in the country.
The freedom some women are currently enjoying in the workplace looks like it’s going to be enhanced moving forward. No longer are employers showing men preferential treatment in hiring decisions. The opportunities being afforded to women are no different than what’s available to everyone else. The women who have gotten to the top of companies speak across the country and have valuable insights about business and starting successful companies.
As the number of powerful women in the workplace continues to grow, it’s especially inspiring to keep an eye on the growing number of women in leadership positions. Below is a list of 20 women who are executives in prominent companies:
1. Irene Rosenfeld
Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International: a spinoff of Kraft Foods. She holds a PhD in Marketing and Statistics, a Master of Science in Business, and a BA degree in Psychology from Cornell University. Previously Rosenfeld was Chairperson and CEO of Frito-Lay.
2. Carol M. Meyrowitz
President and CEO of The TJX Companies. Fortune ranked her the 12th most powerful woman in the world. She received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from Rider University.
3. Indra Nooyi
Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. Forbes named her 13th in a list of the world’s most powerful women. She is a naturalized American citizen originally born in India in 1955.
4. Ellen Kullman
Formerly Chairman and CEO of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont). Also former director of General Motors, Kullman was ranked 31 out of the 100 most powerful women by Forbes in 2014.
5. Angela Braly
Former Chairman, President, and CEO of WellPoint. Braly is currently an Exxon Mobile board member. The St. Louis Business Journal honored her as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Business for 2000. She was also one of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Women in health care in 2007.
6. Ursula M. Burns
Chairman and CEO of Xerox. She is the first black-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. She is also the first woman to succeed another woman as the leader of a Fortune 500 company.
7. Lynn L. Elsenhans
Chairman, CEO, and President of Sunoco. She made 10th on the 2009 Forbes list of most powerful women. Elsenhans previously served as the Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing for Shell Downstream Inc.
8. Patricia Woertz
Now retired, former CEO of Archer Daniels Midland. Woertz was also Executive Vice President of the Chevron Corporation where she served 29 years as its Executive Vice President of Global Downstream.
9. Laura J. Sen
President and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club. She is the director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Director of National Retail Federation Inc.
10. Beth E. Mooney
Chairman and CEO of KeyCorp. She is the first woman to become CEO of a top 20 US bank. Over her 16-year career, Mooney has filled every banking role in a number of locations throughout the country.
11. Mary Barra
Chairperson and CEO of General Motors. She is the first CEO of a major global automaker. She has also appeared on the cover of Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
12. Ginni Rometty
CEO, Chairman, and President of IBM. She is IBM’s first female CEO. She has made Fortune’s list of 50 most powerful women for 10 years running.
13. Marillyn Hewson
CEO, Chairman, and President of Lockheed Martin. She came in at #20 on Forbes’ list of most powerful women. In the fall of 2015, Fortune ranked Hewson the 4th most powerful woman.
14. Abigail Johnson
CEO and President of Fidelity Investments. The company was founded by her grandfather. Her family owns a 49% stake in the company. Worth about $14 billion, she is one of the wealthiest women in the world.
15. Meg Whitman
CEO, Chairman, and President of Hewlett-Packard. Before that, she was CEO of eBay, and served as an executive in Walt Disney Company. At one time, the New York Times speculated that Whitman was the most likely person to become the first female president of the US.
16. Sheryl Sandberg
COO of Facebook. She is also the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board. Before that, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google.
17. Phebe Novakovic
CEO and Chairman of General Dynamics, formerly of the CIA and the US Department of defense.
18. Safra Catz
Co-CEO of Oracle. As a board member, she was credited with the acquisition of PeopleSoft with a takeover bid of $10.3 billion. In 2009, she was Fortune’s 12th most powerful woman in business.
19. Lynn Good
CEO and President of Duke Energy. She is also vice-chairman of the board. Good made a name for herself as the lead auditor of Cincinnati Gas & Electric: Andersen’s most prestigious account.
20. Helena Foulkes
President of CVS Pharmacy and EVP of CVS Heath. She is in charge of the company’s efforts in philanthropy. As one of Fortune’s most powerful women. Foulkes penned the deal that took over Target’s pharmaceutical efforts, giving CVS the most pharmacy locations in the US.
All of the women in the above list have been recognized by Money Crashers and Fortune. They exemplify the opportunities available to girls who want to serve in important positions later on in life, and the list continues to grow with each passing year. The women featured above are a mere sample of the remarkable women who serve in all facets and industries.