The last few years have been groundbreaking for women in business. Although most women will still say that there is a glass ceiling in place for them, that ceiling has started to break with the efforts of the famous business leaders on this list. Doing more than just fighting for equal wages and opportunities, these women are changing the world with their ideas, their leadership, and their ability to engage with their targeted customer demographics.
1. Sheryl Sandberg
Sandberg served for 4 years as Facebook’s COO and helped to shape the company into the public entity it is today. She shepherded the company through its $100 billion IPO and has recently been named to the Board of Directors for the company. Sandberg wants to see women get into the national discussion of workplace equality and says that even though women have never been better off in the developed world, men still run the business world, even though women outpace men in a number of key business category.
2. Irene Rosenfeld
Rosenfeld is the former CEO and Chairwoman of Kraft Foods. She always dreamed of becoming the first woman to serve as President, but ended up becoming one of the highest paid women in business today. She know serves as the CEO of Mondelez, which was the spun-off company from Kraft that became publicly traded under her leadership and this snack and grocery business operates in more than 80 countries.
3. Indra Nooyi
Nooyi might not be known to everyone, but as the CEO and Chairwoman of PepsiCo, she has been one of the Top 20 most powerful women since 2006. At one point, she was able to return $5.6 billion to shareholders and she’s been able to grow the company’s net revenues by 14% for a total of $66 billion. Her advice to women is simple: embrace the difficult assignments. Work hard. Always exceed the expectations that someone has for you.
4. Virginia Rometty
Rometty is a tech industry veteran. She spent 30 years at IBM, in fact, before being named the company’s first female CEO in 2011. With over $100 billion in revenues ever year, her philosophy is also quite simple: you can engineer change. She uses modern communication tools, including social networking and media, to help the 400k employees stay up to date with changes at this tech giant so that everyone can keep moving with speed. Focusing on big data storage and cloud accessibility, IBM seems poised for a very profitable and productive future.
5. Ursula Burns
Leading the Xerox Company has been a challenge for Burns. Instead of just being a company concerned with copiers and printers, she is trying to transform the Xerox image to one that provides full business services. She’s been rather successful with these efforts because about half of all the company’s revenues come from road tolls, parking meters, and electronic ticket transactions. She may not be as popular as other female business leaders, but she has still brought cost-cutting and innovation to a company that needed a new vision and has been successful with it.