Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, is one of the hottest search trends on Google this week. The 37 year-old self-proclaimed “geek” is the nation’s 19th female CEO of a Fortune 500 company and the first to get the top job while six months pregnant. Mayer is a remarkable testament to the success – and respect – woman are achieving as leaders in industry.
The beverage industry understands how important women are to the global economy and to society in general – as entrepreneurs, and as business, political, academic and cultural leaders.
We were proud to participate today in National Journal’s Inaugural Women 2020 Conference in Washington, D.C., where two women currently serving in Congress know what it’s like to be “the first” in their fields.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, was the first woman to represent the state of Texas in the U.S. Senate, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., always will have the distinction of being the first woman Speaker of the House. Both women, as well as Valerie B. Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama, shared their perspectives on the importance of women serving in leadership roles - both in the private and public sectors.
The beverage industry, too, is committed to providing challenging opportunities for women. Examples of ABA member company efforts include The Coca-Cola Company’s 5 BY 20 initiative to empower five million women entrepreneurs by the year 2020, and PepsiCo’s “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Partnership Program” with the Trestle Group Foundation to provide business support to high-potential women entrepreneurs in emerging economies. And that’s just a sampling…..
By the time Marissa Mayer’s baby is old enough to vote for president in 2032, the nation perhaps will have elected the first woman Commander-in-Chief. By then, the announcement of a woman CEO to lead a Fortune 500 company hopefully won’t be so groundbreaking.