It’s no secret that, when it comes to success in business, women have more hoops to jump through than their male counterparts, and it shows. Of the Fortune 500 companies, only 4% — a grand total of 21 — are run by women, and of the 29 companies that were new to the list in 2016, only one is headed by a female. Although there are numerous obstacles and roadblocks women must circumvent to reach the top, it hasn’t stopped the driven women who have climbed their way up the ladder and earned their place as powerful female executives here in the United States. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Sheryl Sandberg
- This social media mogul is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Facebook, where she has helped the revenue increase 66-fold since 2008 when she first stepped into the role. She is a passionate supporter of women in business and women in general, and her book Lean In, which was inspired by a TEDTalk she gave in 2010, calls for us to change the way we view women in general and instead look for ways to help them succeed. She is an outspoken opposer of the current government administration, and has pledged a portion of her $1.4 billion fortune to help women progress in the world.
- It’s unlikely that there’s a person in this country who’s not familiar with the name of this entertainment giant. TIME Magazine’s runner-up for Person of the Year in 2016, Beyoncé’s industry shattering visual album Lemonade brought to the foreground issues that the black community faces throughout their lives that often get swept under the rug. She has a personal net worth of $265 million and, together with her husband Jay-Z, the couple is reportedly worth $875 million and was the highest paid couple of 2016. Aside from her performance career, Beyoncé is also the founder of Parkwood Entertainment, a recording label which she hopes to use to level the playing field of the music industry which is currently dominated by men.
- Susan Wojcicki
- There is a lot of competition out there when it comes to social media and streaming sites, but Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, has kept the business not only afloat but thriving. Susan first got into the tech game in 1998 when she joined Google as its 16th employee; the business actually operated out of her garage for a time at its inception. She was also behind the 2006 Google acquisition of YouTube for $1.65 billion and, 8 years later, she took the place of CEO for YouTube in 2014 where she has worked wonders for the business. This feat is all the more impressive when you consider that she is a mother to 5 children.