10 Influential Women In Business Who Are Role Models & Pioneers For Women Today


By Monique Craig

You’ve probably seen the stats: Women currently hold 4.8 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 5.1 percent of Fortune 1000 CEO positions. Out of those 500 companies, there are only 24 female CEOs. In other leadership roles at the executive C-suite level, women only make up 14% of the top five leadership positions, according to CNN Money. Needless to say there is a huge gender disparity in the world of business, especially at the very top level.

However, despite living in what is primarily a man’s world, it’s important we don’t forget about women who really know how to get things done. The corporate landscape is full of powerful women if you know where to look. You may even be using a product or service from a company that employs a female CEO without knowing that you’re doing so. Here are ten women in business who have become trailblazers, inspirations and role models for a generation of women.

1 – Sheryl Sandberg

This Harvard educated technology executive has served as Facebook’s COO for a number of years, where her hard work and successful tactics eventually lead to her promotion to Facebook’s board of directors. Sandberg is the first woman to become a member of Facebook’s board.

2 – Ginni Rometty

Rometty’s innovative and groundbreaking tactics have cemented her position as a veritable powerhouse. She serves as the President, CEO, and Chairman of IBM. Her revolutionary ideas for expansion are keeping the company afloat.


3 – Marillyn Hewson

As the President, CEO, and Chairman of Lockheed Martin, Hewson’s contributions to the aerospace and defense industry are undeniable. Exploring the renewable energy industry, she has also shown she has an interest in the earth-saving sustainable resources which are rapidly becoming the cornerstone of responsible business endeavors.


4 – Ursula Burns

Recognizing that technology and consumer needs have shifted in modern times, the Chairman and CEO of Xerox has been working to move the company into the future. Changing the company’s focus away from its original purpose of general printing products, Burns’ goal of utilizing the company’s prowess for business services has maintained Xerox’s relevance in the current world.


5 – Indra Nooyi

New products developed under the Pepsi Co brand now make up 9% of the company’s revenue, thanks to Nooyi’s work as the company’s CEO and Chairman. Her efforts have raised doubt amongst those who desire to break the company up, as her work has shown great promise in Pepsi’s profit growth forecast.


6 – Abigail Johnson

Serving as the President of FMR, the parent company of Fidelity Investments, Johnson has overseen an increase in assets of nearly 20%. Johnson has an outspoken and active interest in female millennials who are attempting to make their mark on corporate America.


7 – Rosalind Brewer

The CEO and President of Sam’s Club under Wal-Mart stores has surprised everyone with her ambitious plans. Brewer has expressed interest in increasing the presence of Sam’s Club, to the extent of even doubling the big-box bulk retail giant.


8 – Ellen Kullman

DuPont’s Chairmain and CEO may have single-handedly rescued the company. Combating a decade of DuPont’s slow decent, Kullman made bold decisions that DuPont’s investors believe in. Removing products from the parent company’s line and replacing them with endeavors geared more toward bioscience and nutrition, she swiftly kicked the company into this day and age.


9 – Marianne Lake

J.P. Morgan Chase is so large, it’s intimidating. One of the world’s foremost financial services firms, employing a quarter of a million individuals and serving more than 60 countries. In order for this financial services firm to see continued success, they rely on Marianne Lake, their Chief Financial Officer.

10 – Helena Foulkes

Acting as the President of CVS Pharmacy, Foulkes’ influence lead to the removal of all tobacco products from the pharmacy chain’s retail outlets. This helped brand the company as proactive and health conscious, and ultimately lead to the company changing their name to CVS Health as a display of their devotion to these values.


These are just ten women who can inspire you today. There are many other female business owners, outside of the Fortune 500 list, who are taking charge of their own careers and carving new paths in the business world. With entrepreneurship on the rise amongst women in the United States, it is now estimated female-run businesses are growing faster than male-owned businesses.

This should be a great encouragement for all women out there that although you may work in a male-dominated industry, or the odds may be stacked against you, but there is no reason you can’t succeed.



Monique Craig has a huge interest in digital marketing and branding, and works at One Flare which provides the quickest and the easiest way to find reliable and experienced tradesmen in Australia. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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