Since the turn of the millennium we have seen significant inroads being made in bridging the gender gap in the work place. Obviously, further developments must take place, however certain industries and the women working in them have successfully proved that it can be done.

Here, with Jermy Street Design, who design bespoke cabin crew uniforms, take a look at some of the most influential and powerful women in business throughout the world, examining their rise to the positions in which they are now in.

Angela Merkel

In 2005, Angela Merkel, who is often regarded as the most powerful woman in the world largely down to her political achievements, became the first female Chancellor of Germany, however she plans to depart the role in 2021 after 16 years. Merkel wields significant power within the European Union, influencing a lot of key decisions as well as leading on certain strategies. Being described as the ‘de facto’ leader, with rumours circulating that she is to replace Juncker as the next President at the May 2019 European Elections, leading a new “pro-Europe coalition”.

Merkel, who initially joined government with a seat in the Bundestag in 1991, becoming minister for women and youth, will go on to leave a lasting legacy that’ll be tough to beat for many decades to come, coming through a global economic crisis better than any other leader and managing to fend off a lengthy recession and flourishing rather than squandering.

Marissa Mayer

In 2008, aged just 32, Marissa Mayer became the youngest woman ever to feature in Fortune’s list of Most Powerful Women in Business. Now, aged 43, she is the youngest woman to be included in our list of influential female figures. Google’s 20th employee, known to be prominent for the development of several of Google’s branches such as Images, News, Maps, Books and Gmail, she went on to become president and CEO of Yahoo.

Despite resigning from Yahoo due to disagreements to changes to the company’s culture, she stated upon her last day that under her leadership, Yahoo’s stock tripled, significantly grew mobile users to over 650 million and a range of other achievements.

Indra Nooyi

Voted the second most powerful woman in the world in 2015, the multi-award-winning chairman of PepsiCo, the world’s second largest food and beverage business ranked by net revenue, Indra Nooyi is a female inspiration. In fact, she’s been included in the top 20 of the World’s Most Powerful Women since 2006.

Critics have pointed to the fact that Indra managed to make several of the products healthier, removing sugar, certain acids and more sweeteners that went into the drinks whilst increasing net profits year on year, from $2.7 billion to $6.5 billion. Categorising her products into three separate slogans; “fun for you”, “better for you” and “good for you”, the latter being items such as oats from the merger with Quaker Oats Company.

Indra, whose time with the drinks manufacturer makes her much like a part of the furniture is due to end her 25 year tenure this year as she steps down from chairwoman, a position she has held since August 2018 after stepping down as CEO for 12 years.

Sheryl Sandberg

The founder of, a nonprofit organisation which was established to provide women with the necessary support and inspiration to help them achieve their goals, and the Chief Operating Officer since 2008 for social media platform Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is a regularly featured figure in the Time 100.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, approached Sandberg at a Christmas party in late 2007, seeing her as a “perfect fit”, he made the announcement the following March that she was to be the new COO. Continuing her rise through the ranks, she was elected to Facebook’s board of directors. becoming the first woman to serve on its board, a huge revolutionary moment in the history of Facebook.

Oprah Winfrey

You’d do well to be able to rhyme of all of Oprah’s awards and recognitions, but “Queen of Media”, the richest African American of the 20th century, North America’s first black multi-billionaire and the greatest black philanthropist in American history are just but a few of her accolades, amongst serious investments that have financially save in otherwise spiraling businesses such as Weight Watchers.

Perhaps the largest contribution by Oprah’s is how she revolutionised the way audience and interviewees communicated to the media, allowing for a more intimate setting despite it being broadcast to millions on television, popularizing it in the process. Despite receiving some criticisms that she created a confession culture centered around emotion, she is praised for breaking 20th century taboos and allowed for the mainstream acceptance of LGBT through frequent broadcasting appearances. In early 2018, in support of sexual assault victims that lead to the fall of many high profile males, Oprah delivered an inspiring and influential speech at the Golden Globes.



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Categories: Business