The Era of — Women Leaders & CEOs! Some of the most innovative business ideas and management concepts of the last decades have come from these business women. They have not only multiplied their company’s growth manifold but their business strategies have stood the test of times — amid global covid-19 crisis.
From the United States electing its first ever female vice president to female national leaders exhibiting exemplary diligence in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak — there are million reasons to ‘Celebrate Women Who Inspire Millions‘. Women are ruling with an iron glove everywhere marking their territory in every corner of human life — be it Education, Politics, Business, Sports or Philanthropy. DKODING looks at the careers of this generation’s top women CEO’s — learning about their beliefs and actions that have propelled each one of them to the top of the corporate world. It is a salutation to these ‘MOST POWERFUL BUSINESS WOMEN ICONS’ and their achievement of breakthrough corporate leadership.
How the world’s top most powerful business women were selected?
While very specific criteria were employed to narrow down the list of the final 10, there were subjective elements to the selection process as well. As editor and publisher of more than 500+ stories on business and leadership — it gave team DKODING a good background to initiate ‘Most Powerful Women 2020‘ project — but at the same time we had to carefully avoid a potential bias. Finally the most accomplished business women of the corporate world — whose promise to deliver applies across a broad spectrum including society at large were selected.
That said: while the general rules of determining the success of businesses revolve around revenue and growth, the pandemic has proved that this outlook is not enough to sustain in the face of unforeseeable wrath of nature.
Therefore, it occurs that a truly successful business leader not only amplifies the income of a company but also makes the world a better place and makes people’s lives easier.
10 Extraordinarily Successful Business Women And What Makes Them Great:
Here’s encapsulated 2020’s top 10 most powerful business women and the summary of their biographies, unique traits, strategies, accomplishments and challenges — that can potentially give aspiring CEO’s and leaders a valuable blueprint for sustainable success — in increasingly tough global markets!
Chaos breeds innovation and it takes a bull’s eye to turn it into a ladder.
Who Is Mary Barra?
When businesses succumbed to the pandemic and faced downturns they never projected, General Motors under the leadership of its Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra took the disruptive road. After a drastic drop in automobile sales in the year 2020, the company plummeted its operations by starting the mass manufacturing of ventilators in early March 2020.
The international automobile company GM was dwindling in conflicts and financial distress until a decade ago. Tables turned under Barra’s leadership. The organization not only sailed through profits of billions of dollars, it also gifted the world the vision of new-age transportation and aims at launching 20 electric cars in the market by 2023.
Mary Barra Biography
- Full Name — Mary Teresa Barra (née Makela)
- Born — December 24, 1961
- Education — Kettering University (BS), Stanford University (MBA)
- Designation — Chairwoman and CEO, General Motors
- Board Member — Disney, General Dynamics, Detroit Economic Club, Detroit Country Day School, and Stanford University and Duke University’s Board of Trustees
It’s OK to admit what you don’t know. It’s OK to ask for help. And it’s more than OK to listen to the people you lead. In fact, it’s essential.— Mary Barra » Leadership Quote
In 2019, as the CEO of General Motors, Barra earned a compensation package amounting to $21.6 million. This included salary worth $2.1 million, stocks award amounting to $12.14 million, $3.5 million in stock options and $2.73 million in performance rewards. (This was when her performance reward was 38.7% less than 2018.)
While Barra left no stone unturned to take General Motors to the present day heights, the organization also invested in its CEO with utmost conviction to prepare her as the torchbearer. Before taking the executive chief’s office, Barra served multiple roles in company like Plant Manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant; Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain; Vice President of Global Manufacturing Engineering; Executive Director of Competitive Operations Engineering; and Vice President of Global Human Resources. Barra also did engineering from General Motors Institute which is owned by the company itself. Later, she was sent by GM to Stanford University to get a degree in MBA. While company placed its trust and investment in Barra, the female CEO proved the decision to be the company’s best.
Watch: Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors, joins Squawk Box to discuss the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on carmakers
Revolution begins from a woman in a room where there have been none before.
Who is Julie Sweet?
Julie Sweet was appointed as the first Chief Executive Office of the global strategy and consulting firm Accenture. However, her role as an innovator and trailblazer emerged during 2020. Sweet not only opened new doors to opportunities and thrived during the pandemic, she also suggested the big companies to step out of the crisis mode.
Taking the opportunity that the global crisis provided, Julie Sweet drifted the focus of the company of half a million employees worldwide towards helping clients tackle the ‘new world order’. Accenture successfully connected 1.2 million national health workers from the U.K. remotely and additionally partnered with Salesforce on drawing a mechanism for vaccine management and updates.
During the pandemic, when businesses are drawn to insolvency, the company’s revenue increased by 3 percent at $44.3 billion in 2020 from $43.2 billion in 2019.
Julie Sweet Biography
- Full Name — Julie Sweet (née Spellman)
- Born — 1967, Southern California
- Education — Claremont McKenna College, Columbia Law School
- Designation — CEO, Accenture
- Board Member — Business Roundtable, Catalyst, TechNet Executive Council, Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders
I’m driven by making an impact on the individuals I interact with and leveraging my success to give back to the world.— Julie Sweet » Leadership Quote
What is Julie Sweet’s salary and net worth?
As the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Accenture Plc., Julie Sweet makes $6,265,340. Sweet owns more than 9,228 units of Accenture Plc stocks amounting to over $2,542,337. She also sold ACN stocks worth more than $22,734,924 in the past 20 years. As of October 2020, her net worth is $31.5 million.
How has Julie Sweet’s career panned out?
It took an extremely difficult decision for Sweet to reach where she is today. In 2010, Julie Sweet left the number one law firm of America, Cravath, Swaine and Moore, to join Accenture as the general counsel. A decade later, Sweet’s life-changing job switch made her one of the most powerful women in the business.
Watch: Julie Sweet, CEO Accenture talks about ‘Culture of Equality‘
Women possess a natural power to nurture and heal. And when they decide to do that for the world, the results are groundbreaking.
Who is Gail Boudreaux?
The largest for-profit health insurance provider of the United States, Anthem Inc. appointed Gail K. Boudreaux as the President and the Chief Executive Officer in November 2017. However, Boudreaux’s exceptional career in the healthcare industry dates back to three decades serving as the former CEO of UnitedHealthcare.
The most recent highlights of her healthcare career was the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic during which Anthem Inc. made significant efforts in combating the situation. Apart from Anthem’s dedication of funds worth $50 million to provide safety to the people in vulnerable areas, food security and mental and behavioral health resources, the organization also waived entire cost-sharing for coronavirus diagnostic tests and also the treatments. This and a lot more was done under the leadership of Gail Boudreaux at Anthem.
Furthermore, the co. registered operating revenue worth $30.6 billion in the Q3 of 2020, which is an increase of 15.9 percent from the last year at $4.2 billions.
Gail Boudreaux Biography
- Full Name — Gail Koziara Boudreaux
- Born — 1960
- Education — Dartmouth College (BA), Columbia University (MBA)
- Designation — President and CEO, Anthem Inc
- Past Companies — AETNA, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois, UnitedHealthcare, GKB Global Health
“I do want to lead an enterprise where I can make a difference.”— Gail Boudreaux » Leadership Quote
What Is Gail Boudreaux’s Salary and net worth?
Anthem’s CEO and Director makes $15,473,100 in salary. Additionally, Gail Boudreaux owns more than 7,600 stocks of Anthem which amounts more than $8,560,801. In last 12 years, Gail has sold Anthem stocks worth around $19,928,523.
Watch: Gail Boudreaux’s talks about her leadership style
A good life cannot be measured with numbers and figures. But women are crushing it in number games, just in case.
Who is Abigail Johnson?
America’s leading investment firm, Fidelity Investments, has been headed by a female President and Chief Executive Officer Abigail Johnson, since 2014. The 58 years old Johnson took over her father in 2016 to become the chairperson of the company.
It made significant contributions in fighting against the virus outbreak through various initiatives. These initiatives include direct fund relief worth $1 million for organizations like CDC and creating a donor-advised fund program which is a ready-reserve at the disposal of the donor in the event of any disaster.
Abigail Johnson Biography
- Full Name — Abigail Pierrepont Johnson
- Born — December 19, 1961
- Education — Harvard Business School (1988)
- Designation — Chairman, CEO, and President, Fidelity Investments and Chairman, Fidelity International
- Board Member/ Director — Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Financial Services Forum
No matter how senior you get in an organization, no matter how well you’re perceived to be doing, your job is never done.— Abigail Johnson » Leadership Quote
How did Abigail Johnson pioneer cryptocurrency in the investment industry?
In 2018, Fidelity Investment introduced a platform for investors to trade on bitcoin and ether and Johnson personally embraced cryptocurrency. She holds 24.5% stake in the company.
You can either sit in your safe zone dodging opportunities or risk everything to get what you really want. As insane it sounds, the second one is the key.
Who is Susan Wojcicki?
Susan Wojcicki is the woman leading the world’s largest video streaming platform YouTube with 2 billion monthly users. Her journey has been a rollercoaster ride that began from Google and is currently defining the fate of YouTube. In 1999, Susan was hired as the 16th employee of Google and went on to work relentlessly on everything for the company including AdSense and Google Analytics. Her net worth stands at $580 million.
Under Wojcicki, YouTube witnessed a dramatic upsurge of 26.5 percent increase in its prime source of revenue – advertisements at $4.34 billion. This mark is projected to only increase in the coming years. The company made sure to do its bit in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak by demonetizing videos related to coronavirus in the beginning of the pandemic. However, the ban on monetization was lifted later.
Susan Wojcicki Biography
- Full Name — Susan Diane Wojcicki
- Born — July 5, 1968
- Education — Harvard University, University of California, Santa Cruz, UCLA Anderson School of Management
- Designation — CEO, YouTube
- Past Companies — Intel Corporation, Bain & Company, R.B. Webber & Company and Google
- Board Member — Salesforce, Room to Read, UCLA Anderson School of Management
I love taking an idea… to a prototype and then to a product that millions of people use.— Susan Wojcicki » Leadership Quote
What part did Wojcicki play in Google’s acquisition of YouTube?
The real climax of her professional career began in 2006 when she advocated for the acquisition of YouTube for $1.65 billion. Google chose to go the Wojcicki way and today, she is leading the video streaming social platform worth $90 billion.
You run the show when the show needs you the most. And that’s how you become irreplaceable.
Who is Sheryl Sandberg?
The wonder-woman of social media behemoth Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg has displayed exceptional business skills throughout her term at the company. When in 2008, the social media platform was dwindling in losses worth $56 million, its Chief Operating Officer Sandberg, took it to extreme heights in a decade with profits plummeting to $18.5 billion in 2019. This number is expected to spike up in 2020 with projected revenue of $24.25 billion.
While it cannot be denied that Zuckerberg and Sandberg found themselves dealing with the controversies and lawsuits related to fake news, one still can’t deny the increasing power and usage of Facebook with each passing day. The social media behemoth was the quickest to respond when COVID-19 took over the world. In February, officials hosted WHO and other tech giants like Google, Amazon, etc. in its Menlo Park headquarters to discuss the solution to the virus outbreak that tech can offer. Further, it banned ads on the sales of mask, sanitizer, COVID-19 test kits and disinfectant that could lead to frauds and shoot up prices. It also gave its full-time employees monetary bonus to deal with financial crises.
Many other similar efforts displayed Facebook’s sensitivity towards the global crisis. All under the operational leadership of Sheryl Sandberg.
Sheryl Sandberg Biography
- Full Name — Sheryl Kara Sandberg
- Born — August 28, 1969
- Education — Harvard Business School
- Designation — COO, Facebook and Founder, LeanIn.org
- Board Member — Facebook, Women for Women International, Center for Global Development, V-Day, SurveyMonkey
- Past Companies/ Experience — McKinsey & Co., Chief of Staff for US Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers under President Bill Clinton, Google, The World Bank
Taking initiative pays off. It is hard to visualize someone as a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do.— Sheryl Sandberg » Leadership Quote
What is Sheryl Sandberg’s salary?
In 2019, Facebook’s COO earned more than $875,000 in salary with additional $902,740 in bonus and $19.67 in stock reward.
Sheryl Sandberg also uses a private aircraft the cost of which is bore by Facebook. In 2019 it costed the company $4.37 million. Her net worth is $1.8 billion.
Watch: Sheryl Sandberg talk on ‘Having Trouble Today?’
A good start receives applauds. But a great start is unforgettable.
Who is Carol Tome?
Carol Tome is the twelfth Chief Executive Officer of UPS, after a long stint at Home Depot which she joined in 1995 and served as Executive Vice President, Treasurer and later as Chief Financial Officer. She deserves to be on the list since she has been elected as the CEO of UPS in 2020 and right with her debut, gifted the company with good opening figures. The earnings in Q2 of 2020 which was the opening pitch for Tome, witnessed twice the projected growth.
As an initiative to curb the outbreak of COVID-19 and help people throughout the world deal with financial crisis, the UPS Foundation contributed more than $6 million to American Red Cross, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Salvation Army, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNICEF, Good360, CARE, World Food Programme, NVOAD and more.
Carol Tome Biography
- Full Name — Carol B. Tome
- Born — 1957, Jackson, Wyoming
- Education — Daniels College of Business, University of Denver (1981), University of Wyoming (1979)
- Designation — CEO, UPS
- Past Companies — United Bank of Denver, Johns-Manville Corp, Riverwood International Corp, The Home Depot
We have eight core values and one is respect for all people. We don’t just have these on a wall, we have them on our apron. We live them every day.— Carol Tome » Leadership Quote
What is Carol Tome’s salary and net worth?
Carol Tome’s net worth as of June 2020 is $35 million. As the CEO and Director of United Parcel Service, she takes home the basic pay of $307,402. Additionally, she owns more than 10,100 UPS stocks worth around $2,274,000. In the last 17 years, Tome has sold UPS stocks worth $32,434,880.
When women are the first time of anything, they are closely teaching society to accept it as a bare minimum. And that’s all that matters.
Who is Roshni Nadar?
The Chairperson of HCL Technologies, Roshni Nadar Malhotra is the first woman in India to lead a listed IT company. She is also the CEO and Executive Director of HCL Corporation and is responsible for the strategic directions of the organization. Apart from leading the billion dollar IT company, Roshni was also listed among the world’s most powerful women in 2019 by Forbes.
During the coronavirus outbreak, HCL introduced COVID-19 Pandemic Management Platform to aid the government, healthcare agencies and smart cities in tackling the situation. All through the while, the company still sustained on the path of leadership and success as it not only maintained the upward trend in its revenue and rolled out hikes for employees last month but also won the ‘Proactive Customer Service 2020 Microsoft Partner Of The Year’ award.
Roshni Nadar Biography
- Full Name — Roshni Nadar Malhotra
- Born — 1982, New Delhi
- Education — Northwestern University, Vasant Valley School, Kellogg School of Management
- Designation — Chairperson, HCL Technologies
- Other Involvements — Trustee, Shiv Nadar Foundation, Chairperson of VidyaGyan Leadership Academy, Founder, The Habitats
To make a difference, you have to have large ambitions.— Roshni Nadar » Leadership Quote
Watch: Roshni Nadar on leadership from the bottom of pyramid
A woman’s contribution to the business world is unparalleled. It’s a contribution of perspective to the otherwise uniform male-dominated space.
Who is Emma Walmsley?
When we talk about the year that witnessed the biggest healthcare crisis ever, we can’t miss the first and the only woman to be leading a major pharmaceutical company in the list of the most powerful women in business in 2020. Emma Walmsley was elected the CEO of 300 years old pharmaceutical co. GlaxoSmithKline in 2017. Since then, Walmsley has introduced revolutionary changes in it’s operations. She introduced a global restructuring program expected to save $500 million a year by 2021. The money saved will further be used for R&D and to fund a pipeline of products.
Emma Walmsley Biography
- Full Name — Dame Emma Natasha Walmsley DBE
- Born — June 1969, Barrow-in-Furness, UK
- Education — University of Oxford, St Swithun’s School
- Designation — CEO, GlaxoSmithKline
- Past Organization — L’Oreal
- Other Involvements — Non-executive Director, Diageo, Non-executive Director, Microsoft
People regret far more what they don’t do rather than what they do.— Emma Walmsley » Leadership Quote
How Walmsley made GSK pivotal in the global fightback against COVID-19?
The company collaborated with different research groups to devise a vaccine solution to COVID-19. It declared that it will not retain the profit generated out of this collaboration and instead will invest it back for COVID-19 related R&D. GSK donated $10 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund by the UN and WHO. It also collaborated with AstraZeneca and University of Cambridge to build all-equipped testing labs in Cambridge.
Watch: Emma Walmsey — summarises strategic progress at Q2 2020
When you are born out of a hurricane, every storm passes like a drizzle by the window pane. You don’t fear it, you enjoy and excel.
Who is Ruth Porat?
Since 2015, Ruth Porat has been serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet Inc. Before that, the finance oracle was the chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley where she worked for 27 years. While Google’s growth and revenues are no untold story, CEO Sundar Pichai and CFO Ruth Porat had to take the biggest decisions during the pandemic.
Under the financial guidance of Porat, Google announced commitments worth $800 million to help small businesses during the pandemic along with other reliefs. To facilitate the short-term recovery and long-term financial requirements of small businesses hit by COVID-19 pandemic, Sundar Pichai and Ruth Porat launched ‘Grow With Google Business Fund’ in partnership with Opportunity Finance Network. However, Porat’s real money mindset mixed with philanthropy reflects here- these funds are not straight handouts. Infact, most of these funds are upto 10 year term loans with interest not exceeding 3%.
Ruth Porat Biography
- Full Name — Ruth Porat
- Born — 1957, United Kingdom
- Education — Stanford University (BA), London School of Economics (MA), Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
- Designation — CFO, Alphabet Inc and Google
- Past Companies — Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney
- Board Member — Stanford University Management Co., The Council on Foreign Relations, The Blackstone Group, Advisory Council of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Brookings Institution, Economic Strategy Group at the Aspen Institute | Borrowing Advisory Committee of the United States Treasury (previously) and Economic Club of New York (previously)
Stick to your true north – build greatness for the long term.— Ruth Porat » Leadership Quote
Why Ruth Porat is Google’s best bet in times of crisis?
While COVID-19 brought turmoil in the business world like never before, Ruth Porat was prepared for this since the first day of her career at Morgan Stanley in 1987. Just a week after she joined the organization, she was welcomed by Black Monday.
Watch: Ruth Porat on the importance of finding the right work-life balance
Before you go:
Did you know — among the top 500 CEOs of the world currently, women CEOs are only 33.
There has been an optimistic upsurge of women participation in running leading business organization. While the success stories of these powerful women in business are a stimulus to the aspiring young ladies throughout the world, there is still a long road to cover. Among top 500 CEOs of the world currently, only 33 are female.