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Powerful Female CEOs in America

Powerful Female CEOs in America

Leadership has always been a bone of contention in a world dominated by males, their prejudices, and their ego. Even though it was never restricted to a single gender, women have always had to break multiple glass ceilings. In spite of being stereotyped, many women have made their way to the top of the corporate ladder by sheer will and resolve. America has always been considered the land of opportunity and here are some of the top female corporate leaders who have made it big in this country. 

Jane Fraser 

Jane Fraser became the first-ever woman to run a major Wall Street bank when she took over as the CEO of Citigroup in February 2021, also becoming Citi’s first-ever CEO. She was previously associated with McKinsey & Company as a partner for ten years before joining Citi in 2004. An alumnus of the Harvard Business School, she also holds a Master's degree in Economics from Cambridge.   

Born in New York City, her family originally hails from Scotland. Before taking over as the CEO, she served as the CEO of Citigroup, Latin America, CEO of US Consumer and Commercial Banking, and CitiMortgage. She has played significant roles in a number of mergers and acquisitions since joining Citi, especially during the financial crisis. 

Sonia Syngal  

The CEO of a 16-billion-dollar enterprise with more than 130,000 employees, Sonia Syngal, ranks 38 on Fortune’s list of most powerful women in the world. She took over the reins of GAP just before the pandemic hit. The task was laid out before her, and she did not shrink away from making the tough decisions. Her bold demeanor was evident, whether it was her negotiations over the rent problems with the landlords or shutting down the weak-performing stores during the lockdown period. She also managed to break even and innovated new sales ideas like repurposing fabrics to create face masks worth millions of dollars to keep the numbers in control. Before taking over GAP, she was responsible for Old Navy’s sales surge. She was also associated with Ford Motor Co and Sun Microsystems and holds a Master’s degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford and a Batchelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Kettering University.  

Mary Barra 

Men and automobiles go hand in hand. Hence being CEO of one of the largest car manufacturing companies in the world comes with many expectations. Mary Barra became General Motors CEO in 2014, also becoming the first-ever woman to lead any major automaker in the world. Known for her far-sightedness and forward-thinking leadership, Mary was at the forefront of GM’s billion-dollar investments in electric cars, self-driving vehicles, and Maven – a ride share service. With her quick decision-making abilities and ability to handle challenging situations, she has turned GM into a flagbearer for gender equity. An MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an alumnus of the General Motors Institute, now known as the Kettering University, she helped GM in maintaining the pole position during an era when the automobile industry witnessed some groundbreaking changes.   

Michele Buck  

The Chairman, CEO, and President of The Hershey Company, Michele Buck, played a crucial role in Hershey’s expansion in the snack industry. With over 30 years of experience in the packaged food industry and names like Kraft Foods, Frito-Lay, and Nabisco in her kitty, in 2015, Michele led Hershey’s acquisition of Krave Beef Jerky. Before becoming the CEO, she held the office of Global Chief Growth Officer and Global Chief Marketing Officer. As the Chief Operating Officer of the company, she was responsible for the company’s growth in the Central and South American region.  She holds an MBA degree from North Carolina University and a Batchelor's degree from the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. 

Safra Catz  

The CEO of Oracle Corporation, Safra A. Catz, is the face behind Oracle’s aggressive acquisition policy. With more than 85 acquisitions in the last five years and over 130 acquisitions altogether, she was ranked as the 24th most powerful woman in business by Fortune in 2014 and one of the highest-paid women in the world. Before being the CEO, she also served as the President and Chief Financial Officer. A member of the Board of Directors of Oracle since 2001, she was elected the Director of the company in 2018. She holds over 14 years of experience at Wall Street in the software industry and possesses a Batchelor’s degree from Wharton and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  

These are some of the many high-achieving women who fought through a barrage of prejudices in order to show the path to millions of other women around the globe. Championing causes like the gender pay gap and casual sexism in the workplace, these women have pioneered numerous new laws and provisions that will make life easier for women in the corporate world.

The Editorial Team

The Editorial Team

Hi there, we're the editorial team at WomELLE. We offer resources for business and career success, promote early education and development, and create a supportive environment for women. Our magazine, "WomLEAD," is here to help you thrive both professionally and personally.

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