With March being Women’s History Month, I wanted to focus on some of the top women that hold CEO positions in the US. Currently women only hold about 4.8% (roughly 24 women) of CEO positions at S&P 500 Companies. Studies have shown that having a gender balance at the managerial and executive levels of the workplace have led to higher profit margins. In addition to higher revenues, this also leads to more of a diverse portfolio of ideas and business development.
Below are some women who are exceeding goals and expectations when it comes to being a successful CEO.
Marissa Mayer (President and CEO of Yahoo!):
You can’t have a list of CEO’s without mentioning Marissa Mayer. Currently, at the age of 37, Marissa Mayer is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Prior to heading Yahoo, she spent 13 years at Google where she came on as the first female engineer where she lead Google’s user interface and Web Server’s teams. There she worked on some of Google’s top and successful products in Google Maps and Gmail. She joined Yahoo in 2012, where she was tasked with enhancing the Yahoo brand and its subsidiaries. In 2013 she led Yahoo to acquire Tumblr in a $1.1 Billion acquisition.
Ursula Burns (Chairman and CEO of Xerox):
Ursula Burns is the chairman and CEO of Xerox, where she is often credited for making Xerox a viable and profitable company in a world where everything is moving towards a digital age. In 2013, Burns helped Xerox generate adjusted earnings per share of $1.09 which is an increase from $1.02 in 2012. She began her career in 1989 as a summer intern and worked her way up the chain to eventual CEO. In addition to her work at Xerox, Ursula is also the first African American woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Indra Nooyi (Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo):
Indra joined PepsiCo in 1994 and quickly moved up the ranks being named president and CFO in 2001. She’s led the company’s global strategy for more than a decade, spearheading their restructuring as well as acquisition of new products. With the global decline in the consumption of sugary drinks and more of a push of a healthy lifestyle, Nooyi has been instrumental in increasing the company’s shares 3.1%. Going beyond the traditional soda drink, Nooyi has been instrumental in acquiring new products to include water and food products. Currently, PepsiCo products account for about nine of the top 50 new food and beverage introductions in the US. Additionally, she’s also credited with being the innovator behind smaller packaging.
These are some of the top and most respected CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies at the moment. These women show that gender plays no role in success and that having a woman at the head can in fact be prosperous for a company.