4 Influential Women in Business Who Are Paving the Way for Women Everywhere

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From International Women’s Day (this Wednesday, March 8th) to the celebration of  Women’s history month, March is a month to celebrate and honor women. Today on The Lash Lounge blog we are taking a look at 4 influential women in business who are paving the way for women everywhere. We’ve been inspired by the work ethic, long roads traveled and success of these women and we hope you find inspiration in their stories as well!

Susan Wokcicki- CEO of Youtube 

Early on in life, Susan knew what she wanted:  4 children and to do something meaningful. In the late 90’s, she and her husband rented out their garage to 2 Ph.D students that wanted to explore the relatively new Internet. Susan thought this was very exciting and she quit her job (all while she was 4 months pregnant) and joined the 2 students as their marketing manager. This turned out to be the best move she ever made because the company she left her old job for turned out to be Google. Together with the team, she turned Google into a multi-billion dollar company and the internet tool we all know we simply could not live with out, right?

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(image via glamour.com)

17  years, 4 kids and tons of experience later, Susan is now the CEO of YouTube and without a doubt one of the most powerful woman in the fast paced tech world.

Melinda Gates – American Businesswoman, Philanthropist and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Known as Bill Gates other half, Melinda has become one of the most powerful female philanthropists in the world as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which she helmed virtually on her own for the first six years of operation.  In addition to the pair’s education and healthcare initiatives, Melinda takes a personal interest in women’s issues around the world.

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(image via harpersbazaar.com)

As a mother of 3, Melinda has taken all of her children along with her to Africa a number of times for philanthropic work. In 2014, Melinda and her eldest daughter traveled to Tanzania to do a homestay for the first time. A couple years ago Melinda said, “As they get older, they so know that our family belief is about responsibility, that we are in an unbelievable situation just to live in the United States and have a great education, and we have a responsibility to give back to the world.” Read more about Melinda, her life and her accomplishments here.

Marry Bara – CEO of General Motors 

Born on Christmas Eve in 1961 in suburban Waterford, MI, Mary grew up in a middle-class GM family.  Noone would have dreamt at that time that she would end up leading the world’s second-largest automaker. Her father was a journeyman die maker and member of the union at GM’s Pontiac Motor Division and her mother was a bookkeeper. When she was 18, Mary started working as a co-op student in 1980.

photographed in a Cadillac CTS at GM headquarters

(image via fortune.com)

Today Mary works on her 39th-floor Renaissance Center office in the company’s Motor City headquarters overlooking the Detroit River. There’s no doubt that through her perseverance, Mary shattered the glass ceiling for women in business. Along her journey, she rose to the top,  became a brilliant engineer, a can-do manager and a trailblazing executive.

Carol M. Meyrowitz –  CEO of TJX Companies (the parent company of TJ Maxx, Homegoods and Marshalls) 

Since 2007, Carol Meyrowitz has been helping consumers find bargains as the CEO of TJX, which leads more than 3,300 discount retail stores including T.J. Maxx, Homegoods and Marshalls (and in six countries.)  She got her start in the industry as an assistant buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue, but it was not until 1983 that she joined TJX. Over the years she has led the company successfully through the recession, opening stores and taking market share.

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(image via barrons.com)

As someone who prefers to stay behind the scenes and rarely does press interviews, Carol did make headlines in 2015 when she announced that, like Walmart, she would increase the minimum wage for hourly U.S. retail workers to $9 an hour. In 2016 she stepped down as CEO, but left a mark as a leader in her industry as well as an amazing female leader and trailblazer for women all over the world. During her time as CEO of TJX, the company deepened their international presence and expanded its T.J. Maxx chain into Germany( in 2007),  then Poland two years later.  The international growth continued and Marshalls launched in Canada four years ago. Before she stepped down, she had also tackled e-commerce and relaunched tjmaxx.com in 2013.

For more on some of these female CEO’s and more influential women in business, click here.

 

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