Wednesday 8th March was International Women’s Day and we think that’s definitely something worth celebrating. This year was theme is #BeBoldForChange – urging people everywhere to work for a more inclusive gender equal world. To help inspire you, we’ve put together our list of the top 10 businesswomen for 2017 – leading figures from around the world who’ve reached the pinnacle of their chosen industries.
- Mary Barra, CEO and Chairperson, General Motors
Still in the driving seat, in 2014 Mary Barra became the first ever female Chief Executive of a major global automobile manufacturer. Quite a journey for the woman who first started working for General Motors when she was just 18 – she was ranked #1 in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in 2015.
- Sheryl Sandbery, COO, Facebook
Harvard alumnus Sheryl Sandberg is the real deal: recruited as Chief Operating Officer for Facebook in 2008, she was the first female on the Board. Sandberg is also the bestselling co-author of Lean in: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, exploring how women can achieve their professional goals.
- Indra Nooyi, Chair/CEO, PepsiCo
In a sparkling career, Indian- born Krishna Nooyi graduated from Yale and is currently Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of global soda giant PepsiCo – a company which boasts 22 brands with more than $1 billion annual sales. She was ranked #2 in the Fortune list of the most powerful women in the world in 2016.
- Dong Mingzhu, Chair/President, Gree Electric Appliances
Ranked in 2017 by Forbes as China’s leading businesswoman, Dong is leading the transition of Gree Electric Appliances as it moves from a focus on air conditioning systems to a more versatile manufacturing model producing smartphones and appliances that connect to the internet.
- Ana Botin, Executive Chair, Banco Santander
The first female executive chair of the Eurozone’s largest bank (Santander Group with a market cap. of $68.4 billion in June 2016), Ana Botín was ranked #10 in Forbes 2016 list of the most powerful women in the world. A former CEO of Santander UK plc, she helped to transform three former building societies into a highly successful British bank.
- Ginni Rometty, President/CEO, IBM
Originally joining as a systems engineer in 1981,Ginni Rometty became President and Chief Executive Officer of global technology giant IBM in 2012. Ranked #4 in Fortune magazine’s most powerful women list for 2016, Rometty is driving IBM’s expansion into fields such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
- Chanda Kochhar, MD/CEO, ICICI Bank
Helping to transform the India’s retail banking sector, Chanda Kochhar became Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank in 2009. Kochhar has introduced initiatives aimed at retaining female staff, including a work-at-home scheme and enabling executives to take children with them on business trips.
- Lubna Olayan, CEO, Olayan Financing Co.
When Lubna Olayan joined her father’s business in 1983, she was the first and, for 18 years, only female employee in a workforce of 4,000. Now she is Chief Executive Officer to the Saudi Arabia-based Olayan Financing Co. and oversees its operations across 40+ companies in the Middle East.
- Rebecca Enonchong, CEO, AppsTech
Cameroonian-born Rebecca Enonchong is the founder and Chief Executive Officer or AppsTech, a global provider of enterprise application solutions. Enonchong was listed on the Forbes 2014 list of 10 Female Tech Founders to Watch in Africa.
- Pollyanna Chu, SEO, Kingston Financial Group
Hong Kong businesswoman Pollyanna Chu is the co-founder and largest shareholder of Kingston Financial Group. Chu is included on the 2016 Forbes Billionaires list while Kingston Financial Group was ranked by Bloomberg as the leading Placing Agent and Underwriter in Hong Kong.