Every March, Americans come together to celebrate National Women’s History Month. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 57.1% of the American workforce is made up of women. This being said, it is almost impossible to believe that just 100 years ago women gained the right to vote from the 19th amendment. Socioeconomic equality for females has come far over the last century, so today, we will cover a few influential women in the business industry and honor the remarkable impact they have made.
Karen Lynch, CEO, CVS Health
Before her role as CEO at CVS Health, the fourth biggest American company by revenue, Lynch began her career in accounting as an associate at Ernst & Young, then moved into health insurance. Her financial background, insurance experience, and MBA from Boston University all qualified her to grow through Cigna Insurance and become President of Magellan Health. After moving to Aetna and then to CVS in 2021, Lynch is the highest-ranking female CEO in the Fortune 500 sphere.
Jane Fraser, CEO, Citi
British-American businesswoman, Jane Fraser, got her start at Goldman Sachs in London as a mergers and acquisitions specialist. She then worked as a brokerage associate for Asesores Bursátiles, a Spanish securities broker. After growing from a partner at McKinsey & Company, Fraser started at Citigroup as Head of Client Strategy, eventually replacing the previous retiring CEO. She has numerous accolades and mentions from her impressive career in finance.
Julie Sweet, Chairman and CEO, Accenture
Once an attorney working on acquisitions and mergers, financing, and corporate governance cases, Sweet was recruited by Accenture, a global professional services company, as general counsel. She then worked her way up to CEO and actively advocates for diversity, inclusion, and workplace gender equality.
Carol Tomé, CEO, UPS
Prior to her role as UPS CEO, Tomé served as CFO and Vice President for Home Depot. These roles came after starting her career in commercial banking with the United Bank of Denver. Tome stepped back into the C-suite at UPS from retirement after the pandemic hit to help the company with supply chain issues. Now, the business powerhouse is the first female CEO in both the company and industry’s history.
Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, GM
After graduating from Kettering University in a GM COOP program with a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from Stanford, Barra has worked her way up through the ranks at General Motors. She began as a plant manager which led to VP of Global Manufacturing Engineering, Global Human Resources VP, and Executive VP of Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain. All of these promotions led to her election as CEO from the board.
Being a woman in business comes with its own challenges and difficulties, including discrimination, pay inequality, and more, but these women provide hope for the future. Without the dedication these business leaders have to their careers, future generations would not have the inspiration to achieve their dreams. The representation of women in business reminds our society of where we have been, where we are, and where we are going in terms of progress. So this March, think about the women in your life or career that inspire you.