Top Women in Business

Top 10 Women in Business

Top 10 Women in Business 2011

By Brittani Banks

Women must overcome so many odds to make it to the top. Unless we’re willing to take extraordinary measures, we’ll likely never make it.

But there’s good news – this coming January promises a record number of females in top leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies. Plus, Little PINK Book’s latest research shows nearly 30 percent of working women say they aspire to reach a senior level position.

Our Top 10 Women in Business list is filled with CEOs, CFOs, presidents and more. Each has a story of pushing past barriers that stood between her and career success.

And they give back – many serve on boards and have created mentoring and networking opportunities for other working women.

They have faced obstacles all of us can somehow relate to. They’ve endured long-term disease and the sudden death of a spouse. They’ve had to fight through the recession and learn it’s OK to say ‘no.’ They’ve faced challenges with life/work balance and “working mom guilt.” They’ve had to search within themselves for power to succeed.

These women have risen to the highest positions in business. Along the way, they’ve shattered long-established barriers and become an inspiration for the rest of us.

Pamela Craig


Pamela Craig, CFO, Accenture

Pamela Craig first joined Accenture as a public accountant 32 years ago. But as her career continued to rise, Craig often wrestled with a lack of self-confidence. Click here for the rest of the profile >

Elana Drell-Szyfer


Elana Drell-Szyfer, CEO, Ahava North America

Elana Drell-Szyfer is a beauty business veteran – she’s worked for Avon, Lancôme Paris and was senior vice president of Global Marketing at Esteé Lauder. Today, as CEO of Ahava North America, one of the greatest obstacles she’s faced has been recreating her definition of success. Click here for the rest of the profile >>


Sandra Kapell, SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, Chartis

Sandra Kapell is one of the top women at American International Group, number 17 on the Fortune 500 list with $104 billion in revenue. But her career path has not been easy: one of the challenges she faced early on was a lack of advancement opportunities in smaller companies where she previously worked. Click here for the rest of the profile >>

Candace Matthews


Candace Matthews, CMO, Amway Corporation

Candace Matthews is the youngest of 18 children and has an MBA from Stanford. She’s currently the chief global marketing officer for Amway Corporation, which has more than 14,000 employees and $9.2 billion in sales. Matthews says the lack of other minority women in executive level positions “continues to be the biggest obstacle” she faces in her career. Click here for the rest of the profile >>


Penny McIntyre, Group President, Newell Consumer Group

With 30 years of corporate leadership experience and more than 18 years as a mom, the biggest obstacle Penny McIntyre, group president of Newell Rubbermaid, had to overcome was learning no one is perfect. Click here for the rest of the profile >>

Susan Sobbott


Susan Sobbott, President, American Express OPEN

Susan Sobbott has worked for American Express for 21 years. For five years, she has been the president of their OPEN division, which provides $30 billion in credit to small business customers each quarter. The biggest obstacle Sobbott has faced in her career is something most working women can relate to: the current state of the U.S. economy. Click here for the rest of the profile >>

Sheila Stanziale


Sheila Stanziale, President, Diageo-Guinness USA

When striving for career success, Sheila Stanziale knew one thing was certain: “I had lots of obstacles to clear out of the way!” Her biggest challenge, she says, was learning it’s alright to say “no.” Click here for the rest of the profile >>

Laurie A. Tucker


Laurie A. Tucker, Senior Vice President, FedEx Services Corporate Marketing

Laurie Tucker’s career began more than 30 years ago when she joined FedEx as a financial analyst. Today, as senior vice president of FedEx Services Corporate Marketing, she manages a team of 300 and is one of the company’s highest-ranking women. But her professional growth required overcoming personal challenges – most notably, her “working mom guilt.” Click here for the rest of the profile >>

JuE Wong


JuE Wong, CEO, Astral Health & Beauty

A Singapore native, JuE Wong has traveled the world and worked in seven countries. Today, she lives in Atlanta as CEO of Astral Health & Beauty, which boasts a revenue of $120 million. Click here for the rest of the profile >>

Telisa Yancy


Telisa Yancy, Vice President of Advertising, American Family Insurance

Telisa Yancy holds a top leadership position at American Family Insurance, a Fortune 500 company with revenue of $6.5 billion. She says her biggest obstacle has been striving for career success while dealing with long-term autoimmune disorder lupus. Click here for the rest of the profile >>


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