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Women of Influence

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Women of Influence

Women of Influence

So often I read about how women struggle to achieve their goals, suffer from lack of investment funding as entrepreneurs, and have so many strikes against us winning at the game of life. Yet, when I look at the numerous powerful women in the world I have to wonder:

  • If they did it, what is stopping other women?
  • How can women around the world do what these women have done, and even more?
  • What can I do to increase the number of women with influence around the world?

I truly believe that although it’s important to know where we are (the facts) in order to chart where we are going; it is more important to be focused on where we want to be (your goal) in order to actually ever get there.

Once you know where you want to be, the next important step is to find other people who have done the same or something similar. Learn what they did to achieve their success and follow their footsteps where it makes sense. As women, you can learn from men who succeeded; however, watching what has worked (and didn’t work) for other women is vital, since women often face different challenges than men.

Despite statistics showing our obstacles, women are succeeding in every facet of life and you can, too.

Below is just a sampling of the amazing women making a difference and who have influence in a big way. Admire them if you want, but more importantly learn their stories and bring lessons into your own life from how they did it. Most importantly, know that you have in you what it takes to give to the world in your own unique way, if you will step out and do it. These women have stepped out. Whether you like them or not, they have stepped out. Other than that, they are no different than you.


  • Angela Merkel — Chancellor of Germany
  • Helen Clark — UN Development Programme
  • Dilma Rousseff — President, Brazil
  • Park Geun-Hye — President, South Korea
  • Christina Fernandez de Kirchner — President, Argentina
  • Michele Bachelet — President, Chili
  • Loretta Lynch — U.S. Attorney General
  • Federica Mogherini — High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Union
  • Nancy Pelosi — Minority leader, US House of Representatives
  • Ewa Kopacz — Prime Minister, Poland
  • Ertharin Cousin — Executive Director, World Food Programme, United Nations
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala — Minister of Finance, Nigeria
  • Samantha Power — U.S. Ambassador,  UN
  • Sheikh Hasina Wajed — Prime minister, Bangladesh
  • Margaret Chan — Director-General, World Health Organization


  • Mary Barra — CEO General Motors (auto)
  • Sheryl Sandberg — COO Facebook (tech)
  • Susan Wojcicki — CEO YouTube, Google (tech)
  • Oprah Winfrey — CEO of herself, media entrepreneur (media)
  • Ginny Rommety — CEO IBM (tech)
  • Meg Whitman — CEO Hewlett Packard (tech)
  • Indra Nooyi — CEO PepsiCo (food)
  • Irene Rosenfeld — CEO Mondelez International (food)
  • Marillyn Housin — CEO Lockheed Martin (defense)
  • Marissa Mayer — CEO Yahoo (tech)
  • Safra Catz — Co-CEO Oracle (tech)
  • Angela Ahrendts — Senior VP, Retail, Apple (tech/retail)
  • Ellen Kullman — CEO, EI du Pont de Nemours (chemical)
  • Ursula Burns — Chair-CEO, Xerox (tech)
  • Ruth Porat –Chief Financial Officer, Google (tech)
  • Gina Rinehart — Executive Chairman, Hancock Prospecting (mineral & exploration)
  • Renee James — President, Intel (tech)
  • Amy Hood — Chief Financial Officer, Microsoft
  • Bonnie Hammer — Chair, Cable Entertainment Group, NBCUniversal, Comcast (communication)
  • Beth Comstock — President-CEO, GE Business Innovations, General Electric (multi)
  • Phebe Novakovic — CEO, General Dynamics (defense)
  • Donna Langley — Chair, Universal Pictures, Comcast (entertainment)
  • Katie Jacobs– VP, Global Media, Twitter (tech)
  • Arianna Huffington — Editor-In-Chief, Huffington Post Media Group, AOL (media)
  • Rosalind Brewer — President and CEO, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart Stores (retail)
  • Zhang Xin — Cofounder, CEO, SOHO China (real estate)
  • Elizabeth Holmes — Founder-CEO, Theranos (medical)
  • Tory Burch — CEO, Tory Burch (fashion)
  • Dana Walden — Chair-CEO, Fox Television Group, Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (media)
  • Diane von Furstenberg — Owner, Fashion Designer, Diane von Furstenberg Studio, L.P. (fashion)
  • Carol Meyrowitz — CEO, TJX Cos (retail)
  • Miuccia Prada — Owner, Fashion Designer, Prada (fashion)
  • Katharine Viner — Editor-in-Chief, Guardian News & Media


  • Janet Yellen — Chair, U.S. Federal Reserve
  • Christine Lagarde — Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
  • Anna Patricia Botin — Chair, Santander Group, Banco Santander
  • Abigail Johnson — President-CEO, Fidelity Investments
  • Arundhati Bhattacharya — Chair-Managing director, State Bank of India
  • Sri Mulyani Indrawati — Managing Director, World Bank
  • Lucy Peng — CEO, Ant Financial Services, Alibaba Group
  • Chanda Kochhar — CEO-Managing director, ICICI Bank
  • Adena Friedman — Co-president, NASDAQ OMX Group
  • Ho Ching — CEO, Temasek
  • Mary Callahan Erdoes — CEO, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, JPMorgan Chase
  • Mary Jo White — Chair, Securities and Exchange Commission, United States
  • Nemat (Minouche) Shafik — Deputy Governor, Bank of England, United Kingdom
  • Lubna S. Olayan — CEO, Olayan Financing Company
  • Guler Sabanci — Chair-Managing director, Sabanci Holding
  • Elvira Nabiullina — Governor, Bank of Russia
  • Mary Meeker — General Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Solina Chau — Cofounder, Horizon Ventures


  • Melinda Gates — Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Laurene Powell Jobs — Founder and Chair, Emerson Collective


  • Drew Gilpin Faust — President, Harvard University


A pretty impressive list of accomplishments, isn’t it? This doesn’t even include the myriad of women scientists, activists, artists and other change makers. Most of these women on this list control large amounts of money by their own wealth or the nature of their work. However, there are so many women I did not find when looking up “powerful women.”

Start doubting your doubts! Look for ways to take inspired action. Let go of any belief that as a woman you are handicapped and show the world what women are made of through your belief in yourself.

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