Most Valuable Players
By Megan Totka
Women are making strides in all areas of the economy but are still severely underrepresented in many sectors. A 2014 study revealed that only 46 of Fortune 1000 companies had female CEOS – less than a dismal 5 percent. Despite women representing over half the population, they do not occupy enough of the important workforce positions.
Some women want that to change, though, and they are forcing the hand of others in their industry to become more female-aware. Take a look at five women who are excelling in male-dominated fields:
In the world of racing, Danica Patrick is something of a phenomenon. She has never simply gotten by based on her looks or the novelty of being a woman. Danica Patrick continues to stay in the racing spotlight year after year because she is actually really, really good at her sport. The fact that it is male-dominated is just icing on the cake. Recently, Danica Patrick told a room full of young women at an all-girls college preparatory school to not just be the “best girl” but to just be the best – at whatever they wanted to do. It seems like she takes her own advice to heart.
Few workplaces are better known for traditional male dominance than the proverbial Wall Street group of businesses. Sallie Krawcheck knew that going in and made a name for herself in the financial sector through years of hard work and savvy business moves. While she admits that she downplayed her gender when she was up-and-coming, Sallie Krawcheck is now vocal about better opportunities for women in business and recently purchased 85 Broads, an international networking group for women.
Poker player and TV personality Kara Scott is no stranger to the glass ceiling. After several years of reporting on poker playing from in front of the camera, Kara Scott decided to become part of the story. She placed an amazing 106th out of 6,844 poker players at the 39th World Series of Poker in 2008. Since then, she’s continued to have great showings in poker tournaments all over the world and has become an outspoken advocate for women in the sport, showing that she’s more than a pretty face.
Yahoo’s first female CEO is young, smart, innovative and embraces being a female in the process. In just her first year at the fledging company, Yahoo reported double its stock prices. She makes no apologies for what critics say is the outdated relevance of her company and focuses instead on evolving it to match the needs of consumers.
Have you ever heard of her? The global sensation known by just her first name has become a figurehead for female empowerment through her fierce lyrics and lifestyle. All politics aside, though, Beyoncé is truly making an impact for other women in her field. She’s sold over 16 million albums in just the U.S. and 100 million worldwide and demands the high paychecks of her male counterparts.
While 29 percent of US businesses are women owned, it will take more than a handful of successful women to elevate the gender in the workplace. These high-profile females are making it just a little bit easier for the rest of us to achieve success in industries that are traditionally male dominated.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.