It is the year 2019 and women are breaking more glass ceilings than ever. In industries such as business, finance, and technology where men have traditionally dominated higher executive positions, women are proving the tide is quickly beginning to turn. By exceeding in higher roles that were not previously accessible, women are finally receiving the recognition they deserve, and their presence will have a major impact on how these industries continue to develop in the future. In this article, we will take a moment to highlight four powerful women whose accomplishments played a key role in the breakthrough and progress of some of the most successful and well-known companies today.
After completing her MBA in 1998, Wojcicki relocated to Silicon Valley and rented out her garage to a couple of hopeful business entrepreneurs for $1700 a month. Fast forward a year later and that business evolved into Google, one of the world's most popular search engines. She first joined the team as the first marketing manager. Her early projects included making endearing logos for special holidays and events, and quickly grew in popularity from daily users. In 2003, Wojcicki proved her worth after pitching the idea of Google's ad offering to not only be confined to a search, but also shown on websites and blogs on the internet. The sensational idea became known as AdSense and earned the company ad revenue in the amount of $95 billion dollars in 2017. Her latest accomplishment includes spearheading the acquisition of YouTube at $1.6 billion dollars. She is now CEO of the same company, whose valued worth is now at $160 billion.
This former CEO of PepsiCo has landed on the board of directors of one of the largest e-commerce companies on the planet, Amazon. Before she left PepsiCo, Nooyi served as Chief Financial Officer before ascending to CEO in 2006. In her 24 years with PepsiCo, Nooyi played a vital part in the company, including overseeing key mergers with Tropicana in 1998 and Quaker Oats a few years later. She was also influential in revamping the company's focus in providing healthier drinks and snacks to their consumers. As companies continue to increase diversity among their directors, Nooyi's track record proves she is a force to be reckoned with.
At just 39 years old, this dynamic woman is making bold moves as the first female chief finance officer for the automaker company, GM. Starting out a mere 14 years ago, Dhivya Suryadevara said she never pictured herself in the automotive industry, but appreciates anything that appears "complicated and challenging." Her success is apparent as she quickly rose to CEO and Chief Investment Officer of GM Asset Management in 2013. She exceeded expectations in several roles, including juggling GM's $85 billion pension operations in 2013, performing as vice president of finance and treasurer in 2015, and rising to vice president of corporate finance in 2017. Her seemingly effortless talent is apparent as she secured a spot on Fortune magazine's 40 under 40 list.
As president of Ariel Investments, a top African American-operated capital management firm, Hobson has left a significant footprint within the finance industry. She started early during college, interning for Ariel Capital Management and T. Rowe Price Associates, which are both investment firms. After graduation, she worked full-time for Ariel where she ensured client satisfaction and strategic operational goals were met within the company. In 1994, Ariel changed directions from the parent company, Calvert Group, which suffered a short hiccup as assets dropped by $100 million. However, it seems Hobson has steered Ariel back on track as the firm today is flourishing with a record $10 billion in assets.
With diverse backgrounds in ethnicity, age, and industry, the success of these women is just a small glimpse into the major breakthrough we are currently witnessing. With their dedication, perseverance, and a desire to lead, we can appreciate the success of these women exceeding in roles that weren't always available to them. As the status quo continues to change, it will be interesting to see how these continued trends will shape industries in the forthcoming years.