Every year, more and more women are proving that they can break the glass ceiling and become successful CEOs. There was a time in the not so distant past when women — regardless of drive, education, qualifications or experience — could only make it so far up the chain of command. The prejudice and misogyny was palpable. And most of the men in those high places only thought women were fit to pour coffee or type a letter.
It’s a new age. And dozens of women from all over the world and many different backgrounds are proving that they have the stuff to make it. Some of the most powerful women CEOs who control billions of dollars include Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Virginia Rommety of IBM, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Meg Whitman of HP and Marissa Mayer of Lockheed Martin. Even current 2016 Presidential Nominee Carly Fiorina once headed HP for several years.
Even today, many of these women had to fight tooth and nail to get where they are. While some experienced more roadblocks than others, they all had to prove themselves as strong, tough leaders who could manage and move the company in the right direction. The best women CEOs like Susan Mcgalla, are assertive, received education from some of the best universities and are well-prepared for the unforeseen challenges that may lie ahead.
Susan McGalla understands all too well about the stumbling blocks some women will face when trying to succeed in business. McGalla is the former CEO of American Outfitters and Wet Seal. She now runs her own successful consulting firm. She says although she has endured some bad behavior from men, all in all, her experience has been mostly positive. According to McGalla, you have to develop some thick skin. After graduating from Mount Union College, McGalla worked her way up through her own desire and hard work.
McGalla says that she felt valued regardless of her gender. But the wolves are definitely circling. “If you’re not strong or know how to fight for yourself, you could quickly find yourself outside looking in,” says McGalla.
In an interview with The Atlantic, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo says, “You definitely have to make sacrifices. And if you have a family, you will be forced to make some tough decisions.” Nooyi says although reaching the top can be very rewarding financially, it can be tough on your children. Nooyi says it takes a lot of juggling, and you aren’t always appreciated. Regardless of your position, your family still looks at you as the mom, wife and daughter. “It can be overwhelming, but you have to find balance,” says Nooyi.