Inspirational Female Business Leaders You Must Know
The discussion about the lack of women in STEM rampages on, but there are other industries in yearning need of more female representation. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines viz., science, technology, engineering, and mathematics which are studied in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.
Statistics today show that more women are obtaining graduate business degrees from US business schools and yet are struggling to be on equal grounds with their male counterparts in the corporate realm.
However, being the persistent, passionate, and uncompromising individuals they have always been, women have ceaselessly proved that they can not and will not be disregarded.
Indra Nooyi is a classic example of a woman who worked her way up a male-dominated field. She was widely discussed across top business magazines for her efforts to introduce design thinking into strategy, when at PepsiCo. Former PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi made it to the headlines recently when she was added to Amazon’s board of Directors. It’s important that we go for more female representation on boards, as research shows that having a more diverse and broader Board of Directors can make a business more successful.
Indira Nooyi is consistently ranked among the worlds’ 100 most powerful women. Receiving a master’s degree in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management in 1978, she worked for Motorola and Asea Brown Bovari before joining PepsiCo in 1994, working her way up until she became the fifth CEO in the company’s 44-year history. Indra Nooyi serves as a role model for women in business, as well as other industries.
Mary Barra is one of the few female leaders in the auto industry who is the first female CEO of a major global automaker called General Motors Company. The 57-year-old Mary Barra received the highest compensation amongst any leader of a Detroit Big Three automaker which was $22 million in 2017. Barra was recently listed as Number 5 on Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
Mary Teresa Barra started working for the General Motors Company at just 18 years old as an electrical engineering co-op student with the GM Institute of Technology, inspired by her parents to pursue her passion for STEM.
She was sent by the company to Stanford Business School to study MBA when they saw her skills and potential to become a leader. After graduation, she continued to keep working her way up the company, holding multiple positions such as Executive Assistant to the CEO, Manager of the global HR department, and the Senior Vice-President for global product development before becoming CEO in 2014.
During her career at GM, she pushed the company to new heights, getting them involved into tech space with modern ideas such as automated driverless technologies. General Motors is one of the only two global businesses that have no gender pay gap, an agenda that was pushed by Barra herself during her long journey with the company.
Gillian Tans was the highest-paid CEO in the online travel industry. Booking.com is a popular website which almost everyone has heard about or even used to book flight tickets or even hotel rooms.
Gillian had progressed the company’s operations and sales across more than 224 countries and territories, playing an important part in the company’s growth. Booking.com went from just a small footprint in Amsterdam to opening a second office in Barcelona since joining in 2002.
Tans is very passionate about getting more women involved in the technology industry. She told Travel Weekly, “Technology is one of the key drivers of social and economic change, and as the CEO of Booking.com, I am able to play my part in that.”
Libby Crow is an entrepreneur and a writer. She brings forward the following message, “You have the ability to respond then adapt to every wild turn the journey of entrepreneurship takes you on, both internally and externally. With this kind of attitude, you see everything happening for you vs. happening to you, and that keeps you in the driver’s seat of vision.”
Adaptability is a trait which humans have been developing forever. It’s Biological for us humans to try to adapt to our environment, but when it comes down to business, adapting to those twists and turns can be difficult, especially if our road is really throwing us for a loop. She also specifies that learning to adapt to all changes in our lives, especially in business, will only lead us toward success.
Alyssa Nobriga is a Doctor of Divinity, Minister, Author, TV host. She conveys the following message as her key to success “My willingness to take full responsibility for my wins and losses in my business and life. This helps me use everything for my growth, rather than getting stuck with blaming people or situations for any perceived setbacks. It’s an empowering way to live and work and encourages me to keep taking risks outside my comfort zone.”
She pondered on the fact that taking responsibility could be hard but she said it helped her grow, in all aspects of her life. It helped build trust with the people in her life, and it helped her learn from her mistakes, both of which are essential factors for personal growth.
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