Profiling The World’s Top Female CEOs

This list looks at the most prominent female Fortune 500 CEOs and what they're to doing to become successful


Last year, Quantopia, an American trading platform, identified that female-led Fortune 1000 companies had performed better than S&P 500 organisations from 2002 to 2014.

With this in mind, we are going to look at four of the most prominent female CEOs working for Fortune 500 companies, determining what strategies have made them so successful in their field.

4) Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard

Having taken on the reigns at Hewlett-Packard in 2011, she was immediately thrown in at the deep end, with the tech-giant experiencing one of its leanest spells.

Whitman’s tenure hasn’t been without its blemishes however, with Bloomberg labelling her as the most underachieving CEO in 2013.

She should however be praised for the fact that in the third-quarter of last year Hewlett-Packard’s sales rose for the first time in three years.

With the New York Times stating that Whitman was one of the likeliest females to first make President, she definitely deserves a place on this list as one of the world’s most powerful female CEOs.

3) Indra K. Nooyi, PepsiCo

Indian-born Nooyi became CEO of PepsiCo in 2006. Cleary someone who puts a lot of emphasis on innovation, R&D costs have risen by 25% since 2011 at the company.

The success of this spending is evident in the fact that products launched in the last three-years now make up 9% of their revenue.

She was recently named by Fortune magazine as the sixth most powerful woman in the world.

2) Mary Barra, General Motors

General Motors has an infamous company culture, and with the recent ignition switch debacle, where 32 deaths have been linked to faulty cars still fresh in everyone’s minds, being the CEO of General Motors is a real challenge.

Mary Barra has come out fighting however, when in 2014 she unveiled General Motors growth plans, which included expansion into China and to grow their Cadillac brand.

In April 2014, she was on the cover of Time’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ and rightly takes her place as second on this list.

1) Virginia Rometty, IBM

IBM’s CEO, Rometty, oversaw a decline in her company’s revenue in 2014, the second consecutive year.

It’s her relentless investment in new technologies and strategic partnerships however which Rometty standout. For example, in mobile and cloud services revenues have risen by 69% last year. She’s also agreed to a partnership with Apple, which will see IBM provide its services on the iOS platform.

A member of the ‘Time 100’ in 2012 and a frequent name on Fortune’s ’50 Most Powerful People in Business’, Virginia Rometty is currently the most powerful female CEO in the world

Despite the careers of the women above, an imbalance at the highest echelons of the world’s biggest companies continues to persist. Currently, women hold a mere 5.2% of Fortune 500 CEO roles.

This is clearly something that must be addressed if we want to work in a business environment that promotes equality.

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