As a woman in business myself, I understand how important it is to support fellow women who are entrepreneurs themselves. In 2019, there are more women than ever who are at the top of their game, controlling some of the biggest companies across the globe.
This shift is important, and we have some powerful women before us to thank for all that they’ve changed. Now more than ever, women are feeling confident enough to pursue their passion and do what they love — whether that’s becoming the COO of Facebook or starting their own e-commerce business.
Here are a few of my favorite leading ladies who have hustled hard to get to where they are.
1. Sheryl Sandberg
“Fortune does favor the bold, and you’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try.”
In a world dominated by men, Sheryl Sandberg has worked for huge tech companies and became the COO for Facebook in 2008. Worth an estimated $1.5 billion (yes, that’s BILLION), she has written two books that dominated the New York Times bestseller lists for months. Sandberg is a true trailblazer that has paved the way for other women, and has taught us how to lean in and not be afraid of being called “bossy” but instead to embrace it as having leadership capabilities.
2. Indra Nooyi
“The more we can break the rules, the better off we’re going to be.”
Not only is Nooyi a woman but she’s also a woman of color, meaning that it took her extra hard work and dedication to become Pepsi’s first female CEO. She has made the list of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women since 2006, so she knows a thing or two about leadership and business. She’s tough, and knows how to get what she wants and be a great leader.
3. Anne Sweeney
“Define success on your own term, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.”
This gal is no stranger to the television and broadcasting world. Over the course of her career, she has worked for companies such as Nickelodeon, FX, and Walt Disney. While she no longer is the President of Disney Media, she was known for being super creative and for being a great boss by encouraging her employees to try their best but do their own thing.
4. Jessica Alba
“Find your passion and do it totally. The more life you experience you get, the better you’ll be at whatever you want to do.”
This actress-turned-businesswoman founded The Honest Company, which created eco friendly and safe household products, such as diapers and makeup. She wanted to do something that was meaningful, and in realizing that there was a lack of trust among consumers and large household corporations, she wanted to make a change. She went after her gut and pursued something she believed was lacking in the market.
5. Sara Blakely
“Don't be intimidated by what you don't know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”
If there’s any product that all woman have likely worn at least once in their life, it’s Spanx. In 2012, Sara became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, amassing a net worth of over $1 billion. She literally changed the game for shapewear, providing women with all different styles to fit their fashion needs. All along, her focus was to help women feel great in their bodies.
6. Karissa Bodnar
“You can have a great mission, but if your products don’t truly work, you’re dead in the water.”
Bodnar is the founder of Thrive Causemetics, a makeup line that donates to partner organizations all dedicated to cancer research. Their products are all vegan and 100% cruelty free, designed to make you feel good about where your makeup is coming from. Before starting her own company, she worked for cosmetic giant L’Oreal, but wanted to do something meaningful after losing a close friend to cancer.
7. Oprah Winfrey
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire.”
No list about powerful businesswomen would be complete without Oprah. Coming from almost nothing, she got her start as a news anchor before eventually creating her own show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. That program became wildly successful, which led her to open her own schools for girls in Africa as well as develop her own TV network. She is the queen of doing it all and giving great advice as well!