Women are a growing force in today’s economy that is rapidly reshaping the business landscape. In 2015, women owned businesses accounted for 30% of all businesses in the United States. They generated over $1.5 trillion, which is even more impressive when you consider that this is a 79% increase since 1997. Expanding opportunities are allowing women in business to thrive, and now they are the bosses – employing over 7.9 million workers in the U.S. in 2015.
There are many incredible businesswomen, and here are some quotes from some of the heavy hitters in today’s world.
- “You are responsible for your life. If you’re sitting around waiting on somebody to save you, to fix you, to even help you, you are wasting your time. Only you have the power to move your life forward.” – Oprah Winfrey
In addition to a well known on air personality, Oprah is an extremely successful businesswoman. She sends a strong message of self reliance, of being “responsible” for herself and having the “power to move forward.” In turn, she has topped Forbes’ list of highest paid celebrities – male or female – multiple times.
- “I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.” – Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo
Nooyi has been CEO of PepsiCo for more than eight years, and took initiative to transition the company from relying on sodas and junk food to expanding into healthier fare. This has led to the company’s organic growth in the past few years, while the market for PepsiCo’s traditional products like soda is shrinking. Her quote represents that she sees the company from her employees’ point of view, which allows her to be a strong leader of a large multi-national corporation even while making forward thinking difficult decisions.
- “Our emerging workforce is not interested in command-and-control leadership. They don’t want to do things because I said so; they want to do things because they want to do them.” – Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Mondelēz International.
Many companies today struggle with the “emerging workforce.” More women, minorities and millennials are entering the business world and changing the way that organizations operate. Rosenfeld recognizes this, and applies a leadership style to work with the “emerging workforce” rather than try to force it into submission.
- “You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything” – Beth Comstock, President/CEO GE Innovations, General Electric
Beth Comstock is a marketing wiz at one of the largest companies in the world. She shares a fundamental message – that marketing is storytelling.
- “We need to start work with the idea that we’re going to learn every day. I learn, even at my position, every single day.” – Chanda Kochhar, CEO / Managing Director ICICI Bank
The world evolves constantly. Businesses that stagnate, die (see, Blockbuster, Circuit City, Borders, etc.). Kochhar teaches us that for a business to succeed, everyone at companies, including the CEO has to continue to learn and evolve as the world changes.