The inclusion of women has reached the point where the gender gap is close to evening out. From inspirational celebrities to businesswomen and political activists, women have made quite the impact in 2019 alone. Their work and influence are essential in shaping the women of future generations to take up high-ranking and authoritarian positions later on in their lives. In spite of there not being enough news about women around the world, the female members of society are still making their presence known as well as addressing some of the most common issues we face not just in the United States but also around the world.
Here is our list of some of the most powerful women in the business world today:
1. Indra Nooyi, Former CEO of PepsiCo
After Indra Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994, she would go on to become the company’s fifth CEO in 2006, replacing Stephen Reinemund in the company’s 44-year history. Under her supervision, the company grew in terms of expansion as well as acquisition. This included buying Tropicana in 1998 and forming a merger with Quaker Oats Company in 2001. Tropicana helped gave PepsiCo a real edge as it controlled 44% of the American chilled fruit juice trade.
Nooyi also drove PepsiCo to a healthier direction when it came to snacks and drinks. Apart from increasing the healthy options that the company offered, she even came up with ways to make the company’s “fun” items healthier as well.
Nooyi was on the list of the Wall Street Journal’s 50 Women to Watch in 2007 and 2008. Then in October 2010, she would be placed sixth in Fortune magazine’s list of The Most Powerful Women in the World. She would then be placed second in 2015 in the same magazine.
2. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Angela Merkel is ranked first place in Forbes’ list of The Most Powerful Women in the World. She became Germany’s first female chancellor in 2005 and is currently serving her fourth term. She is regarded as the de facto leader of Europe where she also leads the region’s largest economy after helping Germany get through a financial crisis and helping it grow once again.
In November 2018, Merkel resigned as the leader of the quote Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and stated that she would not seek another term as chancellor in 2021. She is a capable leader known for her steely reserve due to her standing up to Donald Trump and allowing millions of Syrian refugees into Germany.
As of now, leads a coalition government that’s not very popular with voters, and is facing a barrage of negative criticism from Brexit as well as the anti-immigrant community in Europe. It remains to be seen who will take Merkel’s place when her time in the office is over.
3. Marilyn Hewson, Chairwoman, President, and CEO of Lockheed Martin
Marilyn Hewson has been the CEO of Lockheed Martin since 2013.and in spite of dealing with present worldwide uncertainty, whether it means international sanctions or a US-China trade war, Hewson continues to run things at Lockheed Martin. Under her guidance, she was able to help the company get through a number of problems in terms of aerospace, technology, and security. Her contributions including the F-35 fighter jet program and other development work that addressed modern military needs help boost market value to about $100 billion.
In 2017, Lockheed Martin secured over $51 billion in sales, in which 70% of those profits came from the US government. Hewson also concentrated on international expansion where she helped increase the total share of overseas revenue from 17% to 30%. And right now, the company is working to develop a supersonic aircraft that is going to break the sound barrier without a sonic boom.
4. Marsha Lazareva
Marsha Lazareva is a US-educated, Russian born businesswoman who is a graduate of the prestigious Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia, as well as the CEO and vice chairman of KGL investment. She moved to Kuwait over a decade ago and then became one of the most successful investment managers not just in the country but also in the Middle East.
However, she recently garnered widespread media attention after having been arrested in November 2017 on charges of wasting public funds and embezzlement. For this, she was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor and was ordered to pay a $72 million fine. Although she recently won her bail by paying over $40 million, she still isn’t allowed to leave Kuwait. Marsha’s case has led to an unusual alliance of American and Russian interests.
5. Mary Barra, Chairwoman, and CEO of General Motors
Mary Barra is known for sharp and quick-witted business decisions such as when she helped her company steer towards future success in spite of sales flatlining in 2018. Although the Chinese trade war has led to slow demand from the Asian superpower, GM is focusing on pickup trucks that have been selling well in the United States.
Barra has invested billions in self-driving cars, electric vehicles, and a right-share service known as Maven to ensure the future of General Motors. Last November, she laid off about 14,000 North American employees as part of a restructuring plan to help the company become more agile and profitable. Although the news was indeed shocking and sparked criticism from the Midwest especially US President Donald Trump, this cost-cutting tactic helped stock prices go up by 5%.