Women Rule! GRACESHIP loves the idea of women being the boss. Our very own women's laptop bag company is 100% women owned and ran, we even have a WBENC certification for it. It takes a strong willed, capable, talented woman to reach the position of CEO, especially in this male dominated business world. GRACESHIP wants you to know that as tough as it is to climb the corporate ladder and get to the top, it is indeed possible! Take a look at these FIVE FEMALE CEOs that prove that being a woman rocks!
1. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo - Highest Paid Female CEO
Mayer, a Wisconsin native, attended Stanford University where she had originally planned to become a doctor. During Mayer’s time at Stanford she developed a passion for computers and technology. This led her to earn a Bachelor of Science in symbolic systems and an Master of Science in computer science, with a specialization in artificial intelligence.
Upon graduation she had 14 job offers waiting for her! The company that bagged her though, was up and coming internet company, Google. She was their 20th employee and their first female engineer. During her time at Google, Mayer was accredited with work on Google Maps, Google Earth, Street Views, Google News, and Gmail.
However, Mayer wasn’t satisfied, she was quoted saying, “but I don't like to rest on [my] laurels. I think the most interesting thing is what happens next." This is where she makes a major power move! In July 2012, Mayer is appointed as CEO and President of Yahoo. Her appointment shocked the world. Since her time as CEO she has been ranked by Forbes as #1 on “40 Under 40”, #36 on America’s Self-Made Women, #22 on the Power Women List, along with being the highest paid female CEO.
Although being a successful CEO is huge responsibility it doesn’t mean women can’t be a wife or mother as well. Mayer is married to venture capitalist Zachary Bogue. Soon after her appointment to CEO she gave birth to their first child in September of 2012. Mayer recently released some exciting news; she is due with identical twins this December!
2. Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo - Broke India's Traditional Female Molds
Born into conservative, middle-class society of Madras, India, Nooyi wanted more from the very beginning. She joined an all-girls cricket team and even played guitar in an all-girl rock band while pursuing her undergraduate degree from Madras Christian College. Nooyi earned degrees in Chemistry, Physics, and Math. After graduation she enrolled in her Master’s program at the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta. She held two positions before realizing she wanted to be more prepared for the business world, so she enrolled in Yale University’s Graduate School of Management.
After her time at Yale, Nooyi went to work for The Boston Consulting Group. She dealt with international corporate strategy there for 6 years. Nooyi then held roles such as: Vice President and Director of Corporate Strategy and Planning at Motorola. Before joining Pepsi Co she worked for four years as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Strategic Marketing for Asea Brown Boveri based in Zurich.
In 1994 Nooyi was hired on at Pepsi Co as Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning. She was then moved to Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development in 1996. Coming into 2001, Nooyi was promoted to Senior Vice President and CFO. She then was elected to the board of directors. In 2006, Nooyi was appointed President and CEO of Pepsi Co. After a year at this position she was also named Chairman of the board! She was also ranked #41 on the Fortune 500 Listing.
Nooyi has put in her due time at Pepsi Co and has worked her way up the corporate. She is a prime example of how hard work and dedication can allow any woman to break through the glass ceiling.
3. Virginia Rometty, IBM - Shattered 100 Year Tradition Of Men Leaders
Virginia Rometty, but most call her Ginni was the oldest of four children and raised by a strong, single mother. She attributes her hard working attitude to her mother. Rommety received a scholarship from General Motors to attend Northwestern University. She earned degrees with high honors in both computer science and electrical engineering. After graduation Rometty did a short two year stint with GM.
Rometty then found her way into IBM, as an entry level systems engineer. It wasn’t long before she realized she wanted more, so then she began working her way to the top. After 10 years in her role as an engineer, Rometty joined one of IBM’s consulting groups in 1991. It wasn’t until 2002 did Rometty switch roles. She became Senior Vice President, IBM Global Business Services. Once overtaking this position, she spearheaded the $3.5 billion acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. This was the largest deal in professional services history. This accomplishment along with creating global delivery systems in emerging markets such as China and India landed Rometty the Carl Sloane Award in 2006.
It was probably Rometty’s position in 2009 that most prepared her to take on the role of CEO. She was named Senior VP and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy. Holding this title Rometty pushed IBM in the direction of cloud computing and analytics. She was at the forefront of the Watson project preparing him for commercialization. It was in late 2011 when IBM offered Rometty the position of President and CEO, making her the first women to ever hold this title in over 100 years. A year later IBM named her as Chairman of the Board of Directors as well.
4. Meg Whitman, Hewlett Packard - CEO X2
Born into a well-to-do New England family, it might have been Meg Whitman’s father’s job on Wall Street that inevitably led her to concur the business world. After finishing high school in three short years, Whitman headed off to Princeton University in the Fall of 1973, only four years after women were admitted to the institution. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics, but one Ivy League wasn’t enough for Whitman. She then attended Harvard’s School of Business where she obtained a master’s in business administration.
Upon graduation, Whitman accepted an offer from Proctor & Gamle. Her time at P&G was short lived, but it gave her a taste of marketing and what the business world was like. Whitman then held high positions at several companies including: Bain & Company, Disney, Stride Rite, Florists Transworld Delivery, and Hasbro. A notable accomplishment of hers during her time at Hasbro was the redesign and relaunching of the Mr. Potato Head children’s toy.
In 1998, Whitman then secured her first CEO position with eBay. At this time eBay was not the auction powerhouse it is today, but merely a 30 person internet company. As CEO of eBay, Whitman was very much the reason for the growth of the company. She held her title for a decade, and in that time eBay grew from 30 employees with $4 million in annual revenues to a whopping 15,000 employees generating $8 million in revenues.
Business isn’t the only thing Whitman seems to seem passionate about. In 2008 she elects to serve as one of John McCain’s personal advisors on his run for the presidency. A year later, Whitman decided it was her turn to be in front of the political lense, by announcing her plan to run for governor of California. Her business background and about $175 million secured Whitman the Republican nomination, but neither proved to be enough to oust incumbent Jerry Brown.
Putting her career in politics to the back burner, in 2011, Whitman was appointed as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. This title would then make her the only female EVER to hold the role of CEO at two large publically traded companies. Until Marissa Mayer, another CEO on our list, was named Yahoo CEO, Whitman was the only female CEO of an internet based company. Among her many accolades, Whitman was named #10 on America’s Self Made-Women with a self-made score of 6, #95 Richest In Tech, and #14 for Power Women.
5. Ursula Burns, Xerox - First Female Black CEO
Ursula Burns was raised by a single mother in a public housing project on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Those around her doubted her from the beginning saying she already had three strikes against her: for being black, for being a woman, and for being poor. With help from her hard-working mother, Burns was afforded a private catholic education. This education secured her a spot at New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering where Burns earned her degree in mechanical engineering. Upon graduation she went on to Columbia University where she received her masters in engineering.
Burns is a Xerox lifer. She began her career as an intern during the Summer of 1980. She was then hired shortly after her internship ended and spent the 80’s working in planning and development for Xerox. In 1990, her career seemed to take a new path, a senior executive approached Burns about being his executive assistant. She accepted the position, later to be appointed executive assistant to CEO, Paul Allaire.
It was then in 1999 that Burns took on the role of vice president of global manufacturing. Just a year later she became senior vice president where she created a close working partnership with CEO Anne Mulcahy. After ten years of working closely with Mulcahy it was no surprise that Burns was selected as her successor. It was in July of 2009 that she was named CEO of Xerox, and in 2010 took on the role as chairman. Burns became not only the first black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, but also the first female CEO to ever succeed another female CEO.