The Most Inspirational Women of 2017
This has been a monumental year for women. The number of female CEOs on the Fortune 500 list increased by more than 50%, women’s entrepreneurship continued to rise, and women proved that they will stick together to stand up for one another.
As we think through our goals for next year, we’ve been looking to those who have inspired us this year so that we can see just how high we can climb. Take a lesson from these amazing women and let them inspire you to be the best you can be in years to come.
Indra Nooyi, Pepsi CEO. Nooyi has had the role of CEO for many years and takes pride in pushing toward flawless execution of the company’s plans (fortune.com). Nooyi has always acknowledged that junk food makes people fat and harms their health, and has pushed Pepsi to offer healthier products in their lineup. Shoppers have responded and Nooyi has earned spot No. 2 on Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women in Business” list this year. When you bring your personal beliefs to a tough job and manage to turn a company around to please consumers, you earn our appreciation.
Karlie Kloss, Founder, Kode With Klossy. This supermodel proves that smart is sexy. Kloss walks the runway for many top designers but also has a passion for coding. She launched a program to support young women learning to code, empowering females in the computer science and engineering fields through hands-on learning and community support early on in their coding experience. In 2017, Kloss grew her scholarship-based coding programs from three to ten cities, teaching hundreds more women how to code! Paving the way for the future generation to have better opportunities in tech jobs, we’re inspired by this smart supermodel
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO. Becoming a successful woman in the technology industry is no easy feat. Sandberg has had the task of defending Facebook on Capitol Hill and in the media over accusations surrounding Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election, and hopes that improving transparency will help to avoid new regulations on social platforms. Sandberg continues to support greater gender equality in the C-suite through her organization, Lean In.
Susan Wojcicki, YouTube CEO. A proven leader in technology, Wojcicki has been huge proponent of narrowing the gender gap in Silicon Valley. In the few years she has been at the helm at YouTube, she has increased the number of female employees from 24% to 30%. Wojcicki is paving the way and opening doors for more women to join the technology world.
Emma Walmsley, GlaxoSmithKline CEO. Walmsley joined the list of women CEOs in 2017, making history as Big Pharma’s first female CEO. In her short tenure at GSK this year, she has influenced a shift in the company’s drug development toward promising areas such as oncology and immune inflammation therapy. A mother of four, Walmsley proves that women can shatter the glass ceiling and be amazing role models for their daughters
Kathryn Petralia, Kabbage co-founder and COO. Petralia disrupted the finance industry with the launch of Kabbage, offering businesses an easier way to get lines of credit. She has proven herself in the male-centric fintech world and also co-created Consumer Financial Data Rights, an organization pushing to give people access to their financial data through a safe platform. Petralia is not letting her gender hold her back in a male-dominated industry.
The Silence Breakers. This year TIME Magazine named the women behind the #metoo movement Person of the Year. The women behind these stories remind us of the tremendous power we have when we work and act together. It has become clear that tolerance for sexual abuse in the workplace is zero and that there is no longer a need to remain silent about it.
We obviously could have gone on for pages about all of the amazing women who have offered us inspiration this year. Were you inspired by somebody in 2017? We’d love to hear who!
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