The world has approximately 7.1 billion people living in its diverse nations and parts. It’s very interesting to note that no one in that 7.1 billion is equal to another. You might be equal in one aspect but differ in another. Therefore, it is good for people to be well aware of themselves in order to unleash their potential and diversify their ideas.
It takes a lot of responsibility, character, discipline, influence, hard work, and patience to reach the top, in whatever you do. The same traits must also be retained in order to remain at the top as well. Therefore, being among the top most powerful politicians, men, women, athletes, engineers, and doctors, among other professions, take a lot and demands sacrifice.
There are very powerful women running large companies, heads of states, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and financiers who have the capacity and the ability to influence us in many different ways. The following is a list of top 7 most powerful women in the world who started from the bottom and now are running the world, in one way or another.
10. Ginni Rometty
CEO – IBM
2019’s veteran of the technology world, embarked on her journey over 36 years years ago, now recognised as the CEO of iconic tech company IBM, leading their transition into a data company. In 2019 half of IBM’s $79.1 billion, was produced from the emerging high-value segments of IT, against its traditional software products. She ensures cognitive computing to be center stage of IBMs strategy for the future, making massive bets on blockchain and quantum computing. In 2018 IBM purchased Red Hat for $34 billion, boosting their position to compete with Amazon and Microsoft in cloud computing. Despite the high-priced investment, IBM’s stock fell 20% and posted weak third-quarter results. Her continuous efforts to encourage women to stay in the workforce are unprecedented, with actions to include extended parental leave, a breastmilk delivery program and return-ships.
9. Marilyn Hewson
CEO, Lockheed Martin
Hewson is the forefront of innovation for Lockheed Martin, defining a more secure position within the defence company’s aerospace programme. Hewson became CEO of Lockheed Martin in 2013, in 2017, the company grossed $51 billion, nearly 70% of the U.S government. Hewson continues to focus on international expansion, generating a rise in overseas revenue from 17% to 30%. To remain in the contemporary forefront for innovations and new designs, Lockheed Martin is developing the new F-35 fighter jet to address modern military needs and another new supersonic aircraft, designed to break the sound barrier without a sonic boom. Raising the total market value to $100 billion.
8. Ana Patricia Botín
Chair and Executive Director, Santander
Botín became chairman of Santander back in 2014, after the unfortunate sudden death of her beloved father, Emilio. In 2017 Botín managed to persuade Banco Santander to acquire the failing Banco Popular for just 1 euro, becoming Spain’s largest bank. She championed launch of many campaigns to back small enterprises and women owned businesses. Later launching Santander X to support entrepreneurship in universities by creating the country’s first multi-sector blockchain based platform.
7. Susan Wojcicki
Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of Alphabet subsidiary YouTube, generating an active 2 billion monthly users. In 1999, Wojcicki became Google’s 16th employee and later in 2006 she advocated for the purchase of $1.65 billion media website, YouTube, now worth a staggering $90 billion. YouTube announced in January 2019 that by tweaking their algorithm, they will stop the spread of harmful content and misinformation, allowing for a safer experience for people of all aged users. Wojicicki also sits on the board of Salesforce. Before Google, she worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company.
6. Melinda Gates
Cochair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
She is the wife of American billionaire Bill Gates, as well as the co-founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She was born in Dallas, Texas in 1964 where she attended St. Monica Catholic School. In 1986, she graduated from Duke University after earning a degree in computer science and economics. Later, she joined Duke’s Fuqua School of business for MBA in 1987. She is well known for her philanthropy work all over the world and has won numerous awards for it.
5. Abigail Johnson
CEO, Fidelity Investments
Johnson graduated from Havard with an M.B.A in 1988, then joined full time at the family owned finance and investment company, Fidelity. Since 2014, Johnson has served as CEO of Fidelity Investments, taking over for her father as chairman since 2016. Johnson owns an estimated 25% stake in the firm, which has nearly a staggering $2.7 trillion in assets. Her grandfather, Edward Johnson II founded the company in 1946, now in 2019 Fidelity embraces cryptocurrencies, launching an online platform allowing institutional investors to trade bitcoin and ether.
4. Mary Barra
CEO, General Motors
She was born in the December of 1961 in Waterford, Michigan. Her father worked as a Pontiac for about 40 years. She studied electrical engineering at the General Motors Institute, currently known as Kettering University, where she received her degree in engineering. Later, she received a GM fellowship at the Stanford graduate school of business in the year 1988. In 1990, she cleared her masters in business administration at the same school.
She has held high managerial and influential positions in her career as a woman, which kicked off in 1980 when she was the co-op student and administrator for various engineering positions at GM. However, she became famous in 2008 when she was appointed as the vice president of the Global manufacturing company. Between 2009 and 2011, she was the vice president of Global human resources. Currently, she is the CEO of General Motors and has been named by Forbes as the 7th most powerful woman in the world.
3. Christine Legarde
Managing director, International Monetary Fund
She was born in Paris, France on January 1, 1956 and she is currently the Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF). Before that, she held various positions in the French government such as the minister for trade, minister for agriculture and fishing, as well as the minister for economic affairs, finances, and employment. It is noted that she is the first woman ever to head IMF as well the first woman to be a finance minister for G8 economy.
In 2009, she was named the best finance minister in Euro Zone by Financial Times. In 2014, she was ranked as the 5th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
2. Theresa May
Prime Minister, United Kingdom
May became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in July 2016, following the departure of David Cameron, after the UK’s referendum decision to leave the EU. Despite facing pushbacks from pro and antti-european factions, with a possible separate referendum plea, May spent two years negotiating the exit, approving her plan in November 2018. Britain’s goals to strike free trade deals outside the EU is ongoing, along with the balance to maintain peace on the border of Ireland. May continues to fight for the idealized Britain, stating “a Brexit that delivers on the result of the referendum.”
1. Angela Merkel
Forbes just ranked Angela Merkel as the most powerful woman in the world. She was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1954. In fact, she has topped the Forbes list for Most Powerful Women over seven times. She has won different honors and awards from different parts of the world because of her incredible success and influence.
The above women have worked out of their comfort zones to reach where they are today. They are constantly working to better the world and themselves as women role models. You can learn a lot from a hardworking woman who never ceases and never gives up, and who reaches her goals.