We might be biased, but something tells us that women are starting to take over the world. For example, take this list of female power players who are paving their own way through their respective industries and leaving a nice trail for all us aspiring career women behind them. Whether they’re spreading their influence throughout the entire food production industry, or heading up global beauty brands, these women know how to get it done and make a ton of money in the process for their companies and their own pockets.
We’re hoping you’ve already heard of our favorite stylish ladies like Donna Karan and Michelle Obama, but there are a few more high-powered female names on this list that you should get to know if just for admiration’s sake alone. Click through the slideshow above to check out the 18 ladies, in no particular order, who we’re loving most at the moment for their leadership, smarts, and talent.
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Marissa Mayer (above) is more influential in your daily life than you think that is, if you spend your day Googling things like we do. Mayer joined Google's team in 1999 as their first female engineer and has since put her efforts into improving the site's interface, expanding it to include over 100 international languages and launching hundreds of new features and products for the leading search engine.
One of the younger women of the powerful pack, Aerin Lauder is no less influential. Lauder has been working for global beauty brand Estee Lauder since 1992 (she's an heir), but slowly worked her way up to Creative Director, a title that she claimed in 2004. Glowing and gorgeous at age 39, Lauder is an exceptional representation and leader for the brand.
We may be partial to online publishers, but when it comes to print, no one does it better than Ann Moore. As CEO of Time Inc., Moore oversees some of the most popular consumer magazines of the moment including In Style, People, Real Simple and Time.
Andrea Jung plays CEO for Avon, a global company with a philanthropic bent that produces everything in the beauty sector from skincare and hair products to fragrance. For the past ten years, Jung has been behind all that success, landing her the #5 spot last year on Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business roster.
For a little over a year, Carol Bartz has been CEO of Yahoo!, a company which operates the third most visited website in the world some serious stakes when it comes to internet service providers. Bartz, though, has been handling the pressure just fine at age 62, she claims the #12 spot on Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Women list.
It pays off big to know what women want, and designer and businesswoman Donna Karan knows just that. She's brought sexy, sleek and feminine fashion to women internationally at both a luxury and more mass-appeal pricepoint with her DKNY label. Back in 2000, LVMH acquired the Donna Karan International Inc. for over $200 Million.
If a woman who follows in her Presidential husband's footsteps to run for office doesn't scream power, then we don't know what does. Hillary Clinton was as close as a woman has ever come to landing the first woman president title, but though she lost to Obama in the end, he still appointed Clinton as our country's 67th Secretary of State. Not a bad fall back plan.
Ranking third on Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Women list is Indra Nooyi, current Chief Executive of PepsiCo U.S. In addition to the Pepsi brand's massive reach around the world, Nooyi has been lauded for her superior leadership by doing what is not only best for the company, but what's right for the people who work under her as well.
Irene Rosenfeld is the woman behind our childhood guilty pleasures she's been heading up KRAFT Foods as the CEO since 2006, a company that brings us our favorite mac and cheese, Oreos, Jell-O and more recently, Cadbury chocolate. Reportedly, Rosenfeld once dreamed of becoming the U.S. President, but if you ask us, having unlimited access to so much delicous food might just be a better deal.
Sadly, when it comes to the faces on our TV screens, we're predominantly looking at men. But if that's the case then, Katie Couric is one of the guys. She's had quite the broadcast journalism career, working at some point for practically every news station from NBC Nightly News and Good Morning America to 60 Minutes, and now her current spot on CBS Evening News.
When it comes to getting our daily information, The New York Times is the end all be all of top notch journalism and breaking news. Since 2004, Janet Robinson has held the position of President and CEO of The New York Times Company, overseeing the source that ensures Americans are informed and kept in the know on a constant basis.
Southern-born Katherine Krill has spent her career in the retail industry, originally starting at Macy's and Talbots and finally finding her way to Ann Taylor Stores Corp. as CEO where she aids in generating approximately $2.4 billion in annual revenues. Crain's New York named Krill along with a slew of female power players in their annual 100 Most Inluential Women in NYC Business roundup.
When you have your own media company that includes a namesake magazine and talk show, there's really no downhill road from there. That is, however, unless you land in jail for insider trading. Well, in Stewart's case, that won't even do the trick. According to the WSJ, Stewart took in approximately $3.7 million in 2008.
Once a college basketball player at Rice University, Lynn Elsenhans is now a serious power player in petroleum production. As Chief executive of Sunoco, Elsenhans recently locked down the company's purchase of a New York-based manufacturing facility that will supply a quarter of Sunoco's ethanol production each year.
It's rare that a year of award seasons go by without Meryl Streep getting recognized for her acting chops, and she gets paid well for it too. Streep pulls in approximately $24 million per year, but what makes the 61-year-old so influential is that she uses her star power to give back to charities like Artists for Peace and Justice, Stand Up To Cancer, Heifer International and Equality Now.
Beyond her influences in the world of politics, health, and education, Michelle Obama is a philanthropist and a mother of two. Our favorite of the First Lady's contributions to society, though, might have to be her sartorial sense and her dedication to helping emerging designers break into the cut throat world of fashion. One of the industry's freshest talents, Jason Wu, can thank Mrs. Obama for putting his name on the map.
At 52 years old, Mindy Grossman is CEO of HSN, Inc, overseeing a $2.8 billion portfolio for the company. Forbes named her one of the world's 100 most powerful women in 2009, and with a hold on so many women's spending habits, we're not surprised.
When Xerox appointed Ursula Burns as their CEO in 2009, they became the first Fortune 500 company headed up by a black woman another sign that our country's women are making leaps and bounds in the business world. But what gives us all the most hope? Burns began working at Xerox as a summer intern back in 1980! Bravo!