Think of the words- Entrepreneur, Business, and MNCs. What image does our mind form? A man in a formal blue suit or a man in a formal grey suit? It doesn't matter whichever colour the suit is, it is always a man, isn't it? Such are the thoughts we are conditioned to think in this society crippling with the dominance of one gender. (We all know which one it is!)
In a male dominated society, where economics or commerce does not seem to find a place in a woman's career, some girls dared to be different. These defiant women smashed the snivelling patriarchy and became victorious in a forbidden field.
In this list, we name & fame such power ladies, whose names have been registered in the history of business. So, whenever you talk business don't forget to include these spectacular millionaire ladies, who defied all odds and broke all barriers:
- Sheryl Sandberg: The COO of facebook is one the most successful business woman as named by Forbes, Times, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal and many others; one year after the other. Sheryl, who has a plethora of experience due to her rich academic and professional background also became the face of gender equality when she penned the biggest book of the decade, ‘Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead' in 2003. With her Harvard MBA, experience of being a VP at Google and founder of Leanin.org, she is worth over 1 billion dollars crediting to her stock holdings in facebook and other companies. In her book, Sheryl asks all the young girls an important question: "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" which is becoming a worthy catch phrase over the internet. A career advice worth a billion dollars, by this executive leader: "If you are offered a seat on the rocket ship, don't ask what seat! Just get on".
- Indira Nooyi: At 60, Nooyi, MBA graduate from Yale School of Management is the business executive, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. She has successfully directed the company's global strategy for more than a decade now and consistently makes her name in the list of the powerful woman (and mums!) by Forbes, Fortune and Wall Street Journal. Indira with a net worth of $144 million, always followed a philosophy of being yourself, amidst the social and cultural bias she had to face. This bold CEO has the slogan: "Performance with perfection".
- Irene Rosenfeld: Head of the global food company, Mondēlez, she is one of the most powerful and one of the highest paid women in the business world. With a diverse education background consisting of degrees in Marketing and Statistics, Business and Psychology, she displays powerful leadership skills and deftly directed the makers of Oreos, Trident and Ritz through an increasingly expensive world. Kraft Company expanded its holdings in the U.S and abroad and then divided into two (Mondēlez and Kraft) under her fearless steering. Her net worth is estimated at $96 million. She recently remained in controversy for outsourcing approximately 600 U.S. jobs from Chicago, Illinois to Salinas, Mexico, prompting the Oreo Boycott.
- Marissa Mayer: Marissa, a graduate of Stanford, a long time executive, usability leader and key spokesperson for Google is currently the President and Chief executive Officer of Yahoo!. As a child, she excelled in chemistry, calculus, biology, physics and extracurricular activities like piano, ballet, swimming and ice skating. Her qualifications are something to be envied of, as she took premed classes and majored in a combination of philosophy, cognitive psychology, linguistics, and computer science. A holder of several patents artificial intelligence and interface design, she was the first female engineer at Google. From 2008 to 2015, she was consecutively named as a powerful woman in Fortune and Forbes. She was the youngest woman ever listed in 2008.
- Meg Whitman: Margaret Cushing ‘Meg' Whitman, a philanthropist and political activist is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Chairperson of HP Inc. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard University has served at major companies like the Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks, Proctor&Gamble and Hasbro. She oversaw the expansion of employees and revenue of eBay as CEO from 1998 to 2008. Politically republic, she was among the woman cited to be as the likely first woman President of the US, by The New York Times. She is a supporter of ‘The Environment Defense Fund' and donates most of the money there. Her net worth is referenced as 2.2 billion USD. Just like other strong women, she's a supporter of gender equality.
- Ginni Rometty: Virginia Marie ‘Ginni' Rometty, the first woman to be the Chairperson, President and CEO of IBM, is a net worth of 19.3 million USD. Masterminding, she led the company into Cloud Computing and Analytics, booming IBM's growth rate. She is also a board member of her alma mater North-western University. A true loyal to her company, despite IBM's tumbling stock prices, she continues to drive efforts to make the company viable for the new age. Her visionary leadership and strong management are expected to get the company back on track. According to her, the only way to progress is to transform.
- Ursula Burns: An alma mater of New York University and Columbia University, she is the first African-American woman ever to become the CEO of a Fortune-500 company, Xerox. She has worked with then soon to be CEO Anna Mulcahy and later succeeded her. A very active and spirited woman, she has been exceptionally visible during her tenure and makes frequent public appearances. A Mechanical engineering graduate she lays importance on STEM subjects and is one of the founding Board Directors of ‘Change the Equation', an organisation aimed at improving STEM-based education in the US. She's a strong Democrat and has a net worth of 18.7 million USD. Undoubtedly she had to face issues regarding race and gender, but her age also became an issue, when she was taking up on roles earlier than people expected. Raised by a single mother in New York, she admires her the most and considers her the best mentor.
- Susan Wojcicki: Google's first office was set up in Wojcicki's garage. She became the first marketing manager for Google in 1993. Later she worked at Intel. Currently with a net worth of 300 million USD, she is the CEO of YouTube. She led major analytical and advertising products at Google, like Adsense, AdWords, DoubleClick and Google Analytics. It was her who proposed to purchase YouTube. She has been given titles of, ‘the most important person in advertising', ‘the most powerful woman on the internet' and ‘the most influential person'. She gave mind blowing contributions to the development of Google Images and Google Book leading to their instant popularity. Wojcicki speaks up for family and career balance and wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on the importance of paid maternity leave.
- Mary Barra: CEO and Chairperson of General Motors Company; she is the first female CEO of a major global automaker. She became the cover face of Time magazine's, ‘100 Most Influential People in the World' in 2014. An alumni of Kettering University, she studied electrical engineering and further received a GM fellowship at Stanford University. Former Vice President of Global Human resources, she has held various engineering and administrative positions throughout her career and now has a net worth of $28.6 million. She delivered Spring Commencement address at the University of Michigan and received an honorary degree. Barra with a penchant for cars has named Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird as her favourites. In 2015, she held the top position in the list of powerful women by Fortune.
- Rosalind Brewer: First African-American woman ever to become CEO at one of Wal-Mart Stores' Division, which is Sam's Club. She graduated with a degree in Chemistry from Spelman College and later advanced to President of Global Nonwovens. Previously, she had a 22-year long career at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Conferred with titles such as ‘most powerful black woman', ‘most powerful working mum', ‘most powerful people in the world'; she truly is a woman of valour. She has exponentially increased the growth rate of Sam's Club by making little innovation on its app. The Lockheed Board member is going big on health and wellness by promoting organic products and doubling their amount at Sam's Club.
So, girls the take home message from these powerful 10 is, do what you love, no matter what. Have the courage to pursue and work hard for your goal. Success will be at your feet.