Ginni Rometty, who is often listed on most powerful and influential women lists, has been making her mark at IBM for more than 30 years. The first woman to be in charge of the company, Rometty, 61, is credited for leading IBM’s transition to a data company and making it less dependent on legacy software products. IBM’s purchase of Red Hat late last year positioned it to compete with Amazon and Microsoft in cloud computing.
Ho Ching has been the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, since 2004. She has often been referred to as the face of the country’s growing economic power as the fund’s worth has grown to over $225 billion during her tenure. Temasek has made investments in financial services, media, real estate, life sciences and agribusiness, and energy in Singapore, China, Europe, and North America.
As one of Google’s initial employees, Susan Wojcicki saw the possibilities of YouTube while working at the search engine powerhouse in 2006. Her vision lead to Google acquiring it for $1.65 billion. Now, as YouTube CEO, Wojcicki, 50, oversees an estimated $90 billion platform. During her time as CEO since 2014, however, the platform has faced controversy. It has fared better than other social media platforms and is growing to over 1.9 billion monthly users, with new production facilities in Los Angeles to support its transition to a streaming service.
The most powerful woman in philanthropy, Melinda Gates, 54, co-chairs the world’s largest private charitable foundation. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has built up more than a $40 billion trust endowment since its founding in 2000. Its mission is to take on the tough challenges of extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries as well as the failures of America’s education system. Gates is also making it her goal to empower other women. In 2018, she said in a Quartz op-ed that she aimed “to help tear down the barriers that keep half the world from leading a full life.” The foundation, she added, plans to spend $170 million over the next four years to promote women’s equality.