Google Puts Their Money Where Their Mouth Is, Hires Their 1st Female CFO Ruth Porat

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Big news in the tech world, Google has appointed their very first female CFO. They are certainly walking the talk when it comes to pushing for more gender equality in their ranks.

Her name is Ruth Porat and before you think that this is more about ticking a box rather than appointing someone on merit, this woman basically defines the word merit.

“I’m delighted to be returning to my California roots and joining Google,” she said in a statement released by Google. “Growing up in Silicon Valley, during my time at Morgan Stanley and as a member of Stanford’s Board, I’ve had the opportunity to experience first hand how tech companies can help people in their daily lives. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get started.”

A dominator in the finance world, she currently serves as the CFO of Morgan Stanley and because of her position and influence is considered the most influential woman  on Wall Street, and now she is going to be one of the most powerful women in the tech world when she takes up her new position in May. Ruth also played a huge role in advising the government during the 2008/09 financial crisis.

Ruth is a great model for the “lean in” generation but believes in many sectors which are still male-dominated, more than just leaning is required.

“I think what Sheryl Sandberg said about the importance of ‘leaning in’ is very true but it’s not sufficient,” she told Politico in an interview in 2014, “Because if you are leaning in to a door that is nailed shut, you are just going to get bloodied and tired of trying to push that door open. So you have got to have the next level, which is, ‘How do you open up those doors to the ever-bigger roles?’”

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Ruth holds a Masters of Science Degree from the London School of Economics and a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, both of which are considered two of the highest ranked business schools in the world, according to Hello Giggles.

She is no stranger to the tech world, having led Morgan Stanley’s tech banking franchise during the internet boom.

“I’ve had the opportunity to experience first hand how tech companies can help people in their daily lives. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get started,” she said in a statement.

It’s a big deal for women in leadership as although there are a significant amount of females being hired for top C-suite positions, there is still a major imbalance in the gender ratio. Women are vastly underrepresented in senior management positions in Corporate America. Only 14.2% of the top five leadership positions at the companies in the S&P 500 are held by women, according to a CNNMoney analysis.

That number is even lower in finance, where just 13% of those top jobs are held by women.

We love seeing such a powerful female role model enter a world that is becoming more and more accessible to women on all levels. Google was one of the big Silicon Valley tech giants who released a diversity report for the first time in 2014 and promised to work on their dismal numbers when it came to women and minorities.

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Now with the addition of Ruth, she is surely going to make a statement for future generations of female leaders. She is a big believer in women supporting each other when it comes to grabbing those important leadership opportunities in the workforce.

“Women weren’t as collaborative and I think mutually supportive as they are now [when I first started],” she told Politico. “And when I was coming up through the ranks, running small businesses, I felt it was important to do, and it [should be a] part of coaching and training women as they came up through the ranks.”

She was a supporter of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Presidential elections before Barack Obama was elected to be the Democratic candidate. We are quite sure Ruth would support her again should she choose to run in 2016, as would our entire GTHQ team! #TeamHillary All the way!

One of the other cool things about her is that she is a breast cancer survivor and spoke about her ordeal in an interview with Big Think in 2010. She shared how she balanced work with her disease and how she didn’t let cancer define who she was.

There’s no doubt about it, she is a powerhouse, regardless of gender, and we are super thrilled to see more and more awesome women like Ruth being talked about in the media. These are the types of role models we hope will make a difference in the minds of the younger generation, so they know being a success and having happiness isn’t about what you see in a gossip magazine or a reality show, it’s found in the examples you see of everyday women who are changing the world.

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