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Woman on Top: Inspiring Journeys from Around the World

Very often you hear that “Behind every successful woman there is a society that says she can’t”. There is much truth to that sentence and yet we see many inspirational women who have worked their way to the top of the ladder. Let’s take a look at few!

Marissa Myers

Nothing marks a leader like the way she takes on a challenge in crisis. And the current CEO of Yahoo! has just done that – led from the front. Having come on board in 2012, as the company stared at doom, Myers has been slaying challenges and gaining respect in her own badass way.

Queen Elizabeth II

UK’s longest living monarch, Queen Elizabeth is 89 and has occupied the throne for over 64 years (the longest reign in its history). She, however, shows no signs of slowing down. From fulfilling her duties as Queen to keeping monarchy relevant in the 21st century and, even, playing her part in the 2012 London Olympics alongside James Bond – she’s done it all!

Hillary Clinton

Once, Hillary Rodham Clinton was the First Lady of the United States (no mean achievement in itself). But since then, the former Yale-trained lawyer, has been a Senator, Secretary of State and is now in running for the 2016 Presidential elections. *mic drop*

Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook’s COO sure has had an inspiring career. She has served as the United States Secretary of the Treasury during Bill Clinton’s time, and has held key positions in Google before joining FB. Her book, Lean In, that deals women and the workplace is a must read.

Christine Lagarde

Lagarde sure has made it a point to be the first at everything! Apart from being the first born to her parents, she went to become the first woman to hold the Finance ministry portfolio in the French Government (also, a first for a G8 country) and is now the first woman Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. How’s that for woman power?

Angela Merkel

Last year, in 2015, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, trumped Forbes’ rankings of  of the world’s most powerful women for a record 9th time in a row. It’s a well-deserved distinction for Merkel whose career has included various ministerial posts in the German government and who has recently been recognised as the de facto leader of the European Union. Her ‘open door’ policy that’s welcoming crisis hit Syrians into the country has earned high praise from various quarters.

Indira Nooyi

Indian-born American, Indira Nooyi is sure flying the flag high for her gender. In her current role as Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer at PepsiCo, she has been instrumental in driving the brand’s move towards manufacturing healthier products that finds resonance with today’s world. It is her foresight and leadership, many agree, that has led to PepsiCo sealing its place among the world’s leading food corporations.

Oprah Winfrey

Nothing could come in Oprah Winfrey’s way – not even the acute poverty she was born into nor the personal tragedy she endured as a teen (she alleges that she was sexually abused by a cousin, an uncle and a family friend). Her initial jobs included that of a host of local Chicago TV show and from there on she went on to host the globally popular Oprah Winfrey Show. Since its end, she has transformed herself into a media mogul with her own TV network, OWN, and has become America’s only black multi-billionaire.

Arundhati Bhattacharya

At the age of 22, Arundhati Bhattacharya joined State Bank of India as probationary officer. In 2013, after climbing the ranks and occupying various positions, she was named the SBI’s first woman chairperson in its 206-year old history. Since, then she has been lauded for introducing women-friendly policies at SBI and has also been a regular feature in rankings of industry leaders.

Chanda Kochhar

Padma Bhushan awardee, Chanda Kochhar leads ICICI as its managing director and CEO. Since she joined ICICI in 1994, she has brought success to the bank’s various initiatives in industry infrastructure,retail business and has roped in major clients. So, it comes as no surprise that ICICI is the country’s biggest private bank.

Arianna Huffington

One of the most powerful women in the mediasphere, Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief at the popular Huffington Post. Apart from winning the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, The Huffington Post has been continually applauded for its responsible journalism and for its daring stories.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Did you know that Shaw is a master brewer? Yep! Before she could venture into the world of biotechnology, Kiran was at the start off a lucrative career in brewing. Since setting up Biocon in 1978, however, she has made immense contributions to the field of science and is a well-regarded philanthropist.




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Navya D'Souza

Navya is a Bangalore-based freelance writer. She’s a food loving, celebrity-obsessed, wise owl whose feathers you’ll find very hard to ruffle. In her short life, she has also managed to convince a few people and herself that she’s a hoot!