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These 18 women have not only built successful businesses; they’ve set the tone for innovative entrepreneurship in a rapidly transforming world. Through their skill, gumption, and foresight, these trailblazers have managed to stay ahead of the curve – and their exceptional success proves their mettle. Meet some of the world’s boldest and most inspiring female entrepreneurs.
– Holmes founded Theranos, an innovative health technology company, while still an undergraduate at Stanford.
– The technology she helped develop allows blood drawing to be conducted more efficiently and without needles.
– The company’s valuation is north of $9 billion – with her own net worth about half of that.
– One of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley, Mayer was Google’s 20th employee.
– After being snubbed by her longtime partners at Google, Mayer boldly seized the reins of another tech giant, becoming CEO of Yahoo.
– Mayer was instrumental in developing the modern search experience and has a personal worth of $300 million.
– The CEO of a groundbreaking medical technology company, Dr. Constantini is a powerhouse in the field.
– Her company, Prima-Temp, uses the body’s core temperature as a jumping-off point for a bevy of self-diagnostic tools – right down to a soon-to-be-launched fertility awareness sensor.
– Kopp has learned how to stick to her guns to build something both new and lasting.
– Over the course of her innovative program, tens of thousands of people have been recruited to teach underprivileged students across the country.
– Through years of controversy, Kopp has maintained a dogged determination to see the program blossom into its fullest potential.
– Blakely’s meteoric rise gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘hustle and bustle’.
– The entrepreneur designed a new kind of panty hose and launched her company with $5000 and a dream.
– Blakely distributed the product out of her apartment bathroom until an enthusiastic review from Oprah Winfrey helped launch SPANX into the stratosphere.
– As the CEO of Mondelez International, a global offshoot of Kraft Foods, Rosenfeld is one of the most prominent food executives in the world.
– She has 30 years of experience at the top levels of the food and beverage industry.
– Rosenfeld has shepherded her company through a difficult era in the history of snack food.
– Sandberg pivoted from a policy career as the chief of staff to the Secretary of the Treasury to Silicon Valley luminary.
– An important player at Google, Sandberg serves as COO of Facebook and is the first female member of the technology giant’s board of directors.
– Sandberg is a vocal critic of what she sees as an unjustly male-dominated tech industry, most notably expressed in her best-selling book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.
Ursula M. Burns
– The first African-American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, Burns’ story is one of grit, determination, and exceptional skill.
– Born and raised in a single-parent home in a New York housing project, she worked her way up the ranks, starting as a summer intern at the company she would later run.
– Burns has been highly visible to the community, serving on the boards of a number of prominent organizations and making numerous public appearances.
– Powerful, established businesswoman Patricia Woertz has risen to the top in the unusually male-dominated industry of food processing as the CEO of Archer Daniels Midland.
– Woertz spent 29 years as a prominent executive at Chevron, and has built a reputation as a savvy and industrious businesswoman.
– With her influence tied to one of the world’s most prominent corporations, Woertz is routinely cited as a powerhouse in the business community.
– During her studies towards a chemistry Ph.D at Harvard, Becker recognized the potential for the fledgling technology of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD).
– Founding Cambridge Nanotech out of her own pocket and operating it from home, Becker discovered ways to build ALD systems more efficiently than ever before.
– Dr. Becker holds many patents – including tools designed for use in her company’s operations – and has published a number of papers.
– Hicks launched her popular crowd-sourced review website after discovering that finding a reliable contractor wasn’t nearly as easy as she felt it should be.
– With enthusiastic local support behind her, Hicks parlayed her little idea into a big one, securing venture capital and launching across the country.
– The business has grown into a multi-million dollar behemoth with over 70,000 subscribers.
– Routinely named one of the most powerful women in the world, Indian-born Nooyi is the CEO of the second-largest food and beverage company in the world.
– A graduate of Yale School of Management, Nooyi became a naturalized citizen of the US and rose to prominence as a shrewd and able executive.
– Nooyi has guided PepsiCo through a long period of growth and is frequently asked to share her expertise at prominent business forums.
– A psychology Ph.D, Sinha’s facility with high tech led her to believe that there were solutions that weren’t being applied yet to everyday problems.
– Together with her husband, Sinha founded SlideShare when she realized how much potential use professionals could get from being able to share all their presentations from a single hub.
– The massively successful company was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012 for $100 million.
– As the first female CEO of IBM, Rometty is well-placed to upend the traditionally male-dominated tech industry.
– Routinely named among the two or three most powerful women in business, Rometty is as prominent a trailblazer as you could find.
– Rometty has smashed through glass ceilings from the beginning of her career right up to the present day, becoming only the third member of the Augusta National Golf Club as of last year.
Beth E. Mooney
– As the first woman CEO of a top-20 US bank, Mooney’s status is a wake-up call to the finance industry to start taking female leadership seriously.
– Mooney’s career is a testament to persistence and personal determination, with a resume that includes nearly every branch of the banking industry.
– Now the head of KeyCorp, Mooney takes seriously her role as a leader, not just in finance, but in the hearts of minds of women looking to take up the reins of power themselves.
– Wunderkind Fong graduated from college at 17 and later dropped out of a Princeton Ph.D program to found her groundbreaking renewable energy company, LightSail Energy.
– Fong’s company has been developing a novel form of compressed air energy storage that could revolutionize the renewable energy industry.
– Her ideas have enjoyed the enthusiastic support of major investors like PayPal founder Peter Thiel and tech giant Bill Gates.
– Hartz co-founded an outside-the-box ticketing service called Eventbrite, and from the beginning she’s run it her own way.
– Although Eventbrite is now a major corporation with over 500 employees, Hartz tries to keep the emphasis on maintaining a healthy corporate culture.
Jeanie Han, LINE
– Han is the Euro-Americas CEO of what is, and the next big thing in mobile messaging: the explosively popular LINE.
– Founded as a response to the 2011 Japan earthquake, LINE has grown, like Godzilla, by giant leaps and bounds – with 1.7 million new users every day.
– A former executive at Paramount Pictures, Han brings her considerable marketing skill to bear on a platform that appeals to everyone from Paul McCartney to Taylor Swift.
- ‘Blood, Simpler’, The New Yorker, December 15 2014: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/12/15/blood-simpler
- ‘Can Marissa Mayer Really Have It All’, New York Magazine, October 7 2012
- ‘Our Team’, Prima-Temp, accessed May 6 2015
- ‘Criticism toward Teach for America is misplaced, Washington Post, September 18 2014
- ‘Spanx Inventor Sara Blakely On Hustling Her Way to a Billion-Dollar Business’, Forbes, October 21 2014
- ‘Irene Rosenfeld’, Forbes, accessed May 6 2015
- ‘A Woman’s Place’, The New Yorker, July 11 2011
- ‘Ursula Burns, CEO’, Xerox, accessed May 6 2015
- ‘Patricia Woertz’, Wall Street Journal, accessed May 6 2015
- ‘Tech Luminary: Jill Becker’, Boston Business Journal, November 15 2012
- ‘Angie Hicks’, The Huffington Post, accessed May 6 2015
- ‘Our Leadership’, PepsiCo, accessed May 6 2015
- ‘This 24-Year-Old Founder Wants to Keep a Billion More Cars Off the Road’, February 22 2012
- ‘Rashmi Sinha, SlideShare’, Designer Founders, accessed May 6 2015
- ‘Virginia M. Rometty’, IBM, accessed May 6 2015
- ‘Not Just a Blip’, The Drum, November 23 2012
- ‘From Secretary to CEO’, Forbes, September 6 2011
- ‘Deschooling Society’, Forbes, November 2 2014
- ‘Meet the Britelings’, Eventbrite, accessed May 6 2015
- ‘Interview with Jeanie Han’, Business Insider, March 3 2015