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Beyond Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer and Oprah: Add These 5 Women to Your Radar
Heading in to the Forbes Women’s Summit, I was feeling a bit demoralized – some days the statistics just get to me.
Beyond the numbers, it seems like we see images of the same women leaders repeatedly – Marissa Mayer, Oprah Winfrey and Sheryl Sandberg. And while I love seeing these women, their omnipresence makes it easy to forget that there are others.
The Forbes Women’s Summit changed that for me; 200 exceptional participants were there to talk about innovation, leadership, STEM, and connectivity. Here are a few powerful women that should be higher up on your inspirational radar:
Susan Hockfield, First Female President of MIT
Last year Hockfield stepped down after serving 8 years as the 16th President of MIT and the University’s first female president. After spending years as a professor of neurology and then Provost, at Yale, Hochfield left for MIT where she will return next year to resume her professorship. A wife and mother of a college student, Hockfield sits on the board of General Electric and Qualcomm.
Janet Napolitano, US Secretary of Homeland Security
The first woman to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security, Napolitano is charged with keeping the United States, its citizens and the President safe. Before she was appointed to this post, she was Governor of Arizona and named one of the top five governors in the country. Napolitano envisions more women in office and it starts with getting more women to run. As she explains, “You can’t win if you don’t run.”
Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon
Kat Cole is credited with turning Cinnabon into a billion dollar brand and she has even bigger plans for the future. Raised by a single mother who worked three jobs to support the family, Cole’s unusual path began as a Hooters waitress in her teens and she ascended on the business side, spending her next 10 years there and tripling the companies revenues. Now at the helm of Cinnabon, a Focus Brands company, her plans for expansion are even bigger. Cole loves a challenge. As she says, “Leaning in against headwinds makes us stronger, more nimble and more creative.”
Ellen Kullman, Chair of the Board and CEO of DuPont
As the 19th CEO in DuPont’s history and the first woman to hold the position, Kullman has run the 60,000 employee chemical company for the last four years, boasting almost 40 Billion dollars in annual sales. She is a former Director of General Motors, a mother of three and is committed to addressing the American skills gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE USA
If you want to see a woman who commands a room simply by her presence, look no further than powerhouse, Gayle. As the CEO of Care.org, Gayle oversees 10,000 employees fighting poverty in 84 countries. Before taking the helm at CARE, Gayle was with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control.