NEW YORK: For most of the human history, women have been victims of gender-inequality and sexual discrimination. More recently, we have seen a rise in the number of visionary women who have broken barriers, taking the lead and becoming role models.
Forbes published its list of 100 most powerful women this week. We analysed and selected the world’s 10 most powerful women in business from the list. In this article, we share their stories and achievements with you.
1. Mary Barra
Mary Barra is the chairwoman and CEO of General Motors Company. An engineer by background, she became General Motors’ first female CEO and the first woman to lead an automotive industry company. Barra is the highest paid CEO in the world from the automotive industry, and received a salary of $22 million in 2017.
Under her leadership, General Motors sold a record 10 million cars globally despite a slight drop in U.S. auto sales in 2016. The company also posted a record operating profit of $12.5 billion. In 2018, General Motors was ranked No. 1 on Global Report on Gender Equality.
2. Abigail Johnson
Abigail Johnson is the CEO and chairwoman of American investment firm Fidelity Investments. Johnson overseas Fidelity’s operations, which holds $2.1 trillion in managed assets, and handles the retirement and savings plans of approximately 25 million Americans and 20,000 companies. She owns a 24.5% stake in Fidelity and is estimated to be worth $13.2 billion.
Under her leadership, Fidelity had its operating income jump by 54 percent to $5.3 billion in 2017, while its assets climbed by 20% to $6.8 trillion.
3. Susan Wojcicki
Susan Wojcicki is the the CEO of YouTube. She started at Google as the company’s first marketing manager and rose up the ranks to become senior vice-president of Adwords and AdSense.
Despite fierce competition from rivals, Wojcicki has successfully led YouTube as the world’s biggest and most popular video sharing platform. It has 1.9 billion monthly users and each day people watch over a billion hours of video. YouTube makes around $20 billion a year and its worth an estimated $90 billion.
4. Ana Botin
Ana Botin is the executive chairwoman of Santander Group. She has steered Santander, which is the second largest bank in Europe by market value to $100.7 billion in revenues and profitable growth.
Under her leadership the company’s profits have gone up by 33% and its customer base grown to 140 million in Europe and the Americas. Botin is also a proactive advocate for digital innovation, blockchain and feminism.
5. Marillyn Hewson
Marillyn Hewson is the chairwoman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin since 2013. She has led the company to become a major player in security, technology and aerospace industry.
Under her leadership, the company’s market value has hit $100 billion. In 2017, the company increased its international revenues from 17% to 30%, and the firm made sales worth $51 billion.
6. Ginni Rometty
She is the current chair, president, and CEO of IBM. She has been working for IBM for over 30 years and held numerous positions in the company.
Under her leadership, IBM revenues have hit $79.1 billion and she spearheaded IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat for $34 billion to compete with Amazon and Microsoft in cloud computing industry. Recognising her leadership, IBM shareholders voted to raise Rometty’s salary by more than 60 percent to $33 million.
7. Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and founder of Leanin.org. Since joining Facebook in 2008, Sandberg has taken the company from $56 million in loss to $40 billion in revenues.
Under her leadership, Facebook has experienced monumental growth. It has over 2 billion active monthly users and its ad revenues have gone up 57%. Sandberg is also the founder of LeanIn.Org Foundation, which works to help women across the globe achieve their dreams.
8. Gail Boudreaux
Gail Boudreaux is the president and CEO of Anthem Inc., a Fortune 50 company and leading health benefits provider, serving more than 40 million consumers.
Under her leadership, Anthem has hit $90 billion in revenues with stocks up 45% year over year. Boudreaux has also led the acquisitions of America’s 1st Choice, HealthSun and Aspire Health.
9. Angela Ahrendts
Angela Ahrendts is the senior vice president of retail at Apple Inc. She is the highest ranking woman in the company and leads Apple’s in-store experience department. It is estimated that combined in-store and online sales are around $74.3 billion.
Ahrendts has led Apple’s growth in China, which now stands at over 40 stores. She also launched Today At Apple, an initiative geared towards in-store coding and computer science.
10. Safra Catz
Safra Catz is the CEO of Oracle Corporation since 2014. She has led the company to larger-than-expected profits in 2017 and increased the companies workforce by hiring over 5000 engineers and salespeople.
Under Catz leadership, Oracle acquired NetSuite for $9.3 billion, the biggest deal in Oracle history. She led Oracle’s growth into the cloud with the business now generating a healthy chunk of the company’s nearly $40 billion in revenues. Catz sat on Trump’s advisory council and she is one of the highest paid executives with a salary of $41 million.