The Top 10 Female CEOs of 2019

Safra Catz, the CEO of Oracle, addressing a live audience drserg / Deposit Photos

In a quickly evolving business world, motivated businesswomen from around the globe are emerging every day as powerful and influential industry leaders.

These driven females have continued to rise through the ranks despite obstacles that have threatened to impede on their success, consistently driving change and igniting growth in their companies through their knowledge, skilled leadership, and fearless risk-taking.

To celebrate them - and to hopefully inspire a new generation of businesswomen - we've compiled a list of the top female CEOs across the world in 2019.

Lynsi Snyder

Lynsi Snyder, the CEO of In-N-Out BurgerThe Mercury News

Age: 37
Company: In-N-Out Burger

Despite a chequered personal past, Lynsi Snyder's ascent to the family business - the celebrated fast-food chain restaurant, In-N-Out Burger - has been a model of efficiency.

Flitting between the company's corporate departments for much of her early career, the California native took the reins full time at the age of 27; since then, In-N-Out Burger has received numerous accolades for exceeding mandated wage policies, developing a fiercely loyal customer base in the process.

A renowned drag racing enthusiast, Snyder is notoriously media-shy; she has, though, stated her intention to keep the highly profitable In-N-Out Burger within the family for generations to come.

Mary Barra

Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, addressing a crowd from a podiumCarlos Osorio / AP

Age: 57 years
Company: General Motors

Since her first part-time employment position at General Motors in 1980, it's fair to say that Mary Barra has come a long way. Having begun her career quality controlling fender panels straight from the assembly line, the 57-year-old is now chairman and CEO of the US automotive giant.

During her short time in charge, Barra has reworked the company's culture to encourage more thorough safety inspections of vehicles; she has also initiated a driverless technology project and aims to beat rival Tesla in developing the first affordable mass-produced electric car.

In 2017, the Stanford graduate was also elected to Disney's board of directors, while she continues to sit on several other educational committees and advisory groups.

Colleen Wegman

Colleen Wegman, the CEO of Wegmans Food Markets in an interviewThe Democrat and Chronicle

Age: 47
Company: Wegmans Food Markets

As CEO of US supermarket chain Wegmans since March 2017, Colleen Wegman is another who has assumed leadership of the family business.

Supported by her sister, Nicole and father, Danny, she has overseen several changes within the company's operating procedures, including a renewed focus on environmental sustainability; many branches have banned plastic bags outright, for instance, while initiatives such as adapted trolley carts have also been well-received by consumers.

Under her watch, the company attracted revenues of over $9bn in the 2018 financial year, while expansion plans are continually ongoing.

Pamela Nicholson

Pamela Nicholson, the CEO of Enterprise HoldingsEnterprise Holdings

Age: 59
Company: Enterprise Holdings

Having started her career at Enterprise as a management trainee at the St Louis branch, Pamela Nicholson is another female CEO who has worked her way to the top.

Having served as both the car rental giant's COO and President, Nicholson made shockwaves in 2013 upon her appointment as CEO - the first female to assume the position, as well as the first incumbent to not be a member of the owning Taylor family.

Gail Koziara Boudreaux

Gail Koziara Boudreaux, the CEO of Anthem, posing for a corporate headshotDartmouth Sports

Age: 59
Company: Anthem

A noted former basketball player and shot put thrower, Gail Koziara Boudreaux has clearly managed to translate her athletic prowess into the business arena; having served in executive positions for several private healthcare providers, she became CEO of health insurance firm Anthem in late 2017.

Regularly recognised for the influence she wields within the healthcare industry, the Columbia graduate was also a 2018 recipient of the Billie Jean King Contribution Award.

Safra Catz

Safra Catz, the CEO of Oracle, addressing a live audiencedrserg / Deposit Photos

Age: 57 years
Company: Oracle

Although elected as co-CEO of Oracle in 2014, Safra Catz has been a key player at the software giant since 1999; as the company's former CFO, she was at the forefront of much of the company's growth during the 2000s.

She was allegedly considered for a high profile government post following Donald Trump's election in 2016, too, while the Wharton graduate now also sits on the Disney board of directors.

The Israeli-born former banker is famously one of the highest-paid female CEOs in the US, with an estimated personal net worth of over $1bn.

Tricia Griffith

Tricia Griffith, the CEO of Progressive, addressing a live audienceLyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

Age: 54
Company: Progressive

Another Wharton graduate, Tricia Griffith joined US vehicle insurance firm Progressive in 1988, spending much of her early career in various human resources roles. After becoming the company's chief HR officer in 2002, she spearheaded the company's first-ever diversity and inclusion programme.

Following stints as President of Operations and COO, she became Progressive's first female CEO in 2016, winning Fortune's Businessperson of the Year award in 2018.

Abigail Johnson

Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity Investments, addressing a live audienceBloomberg / Andrew Harrer

Age: 57 years
Company: Fidelity Investments

One of the world's wealthiest women, Abigail Johnson is another who has followed in the family footsteps. After gaining her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1988, she joined Fidelity Investments - her grandfather's company - becoming president in 2012 and CEO in 2014.

In 2016, she was also named as the firm's chairman, giving her full control of Fidelity's operations; these include $2.46 trillion in assets under management, over $5bn in operating revenue and around 50,000 global employees.

Lynne Doughtie

Lynne Doughtie, the CEO of KPMG, addressing a small audienceKPMG

Age: 56
Company: KPMG (US)

As the head of one of the largest professional services and consultancy firms in the world, Lynne Doughtie holds extraordinary influence; having begun her career at KPMG as an auditor in 1985, she led the firm's Advisory business between 2011 and 2015, before being handed the top job.

Since then, she has been named as Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Woman in Business, as well as been the recipient of a "Woman of Achievement" award from the National Association of Female Executives.

Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman, the CEO of QuibiImaginechina-Editorial / Deposit Photos

Age: 62
Company: Quibi

Having served in executive positions across a wide range of industries, Meg Whitman is not short of experience; a former CEO of both eBay and Hewlett & Packard, she is the current CEO of mobile video platform Quibi.

Aside from her business interests, the Princeton and Harvard graduate has a keen interest in politics, competing unsuccessfully in the 2008 California gubernatorial election. She was also a senior member of Mitt Romney's failed 2008 and 2012 presidential election campaigns, although, despite her Republican roots, she backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

A current serving board member of both Dropbox and Proctor & Gamble, Whitman is a highly respected and influential figure in both politics and business, with the New York Times asserting in 2008 that the New York native has the potential to be the country's first female president.

 

These motivated businesswomen from around the globe have consistently driven change and ignited growth in their companies, with numerous lessons to be taken from their success.

What other female CEOs are making waves in the business world? Let us know your suggestions in the comments below.