The list of top influential business womens in business history is much longer than we think! The contributions of women to the economy have influenced the United States and the world. International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate these women’s accomplishments. It’s not just about celebrating, and acknowledging women in the business world, but also about celebrating the achievements of all women.
In business, women have long broken down barriers. From the earliest days of the nation, women have contributed to the growth of large businesses, often in secret and with a bold defiance of discrimination. Women have run steel and textile conglomerates, run nonprofit organizations, and even owned media outlets. During times of war and economic collapse, women have taken the lead and redefined the definition of success.
Margaret Hardenbroeck was a Dutch businesswoman who moved to New Amsterdam from the Netherlands in 1659. In this city, she began working in the colonial fur trade. Hardenbroeck married under Dutch law, which allowed her to keep all of her pre-marital property. She died in 1691 as one of the wealthiest women in New York.
Rebecca Lukens was one of the first women industrialists. She was the founder of the Lukens Steel Company. She died in 1854, but her legacy lives on in the company, which is now called Lukens Rolling Mills. Her sons-in-law, Abraham Gibbons, and Charles Huston, took over her business.
Rebecca Lukens became a successful industrialist at the age of forty-five. Her business prospered and she was eventually named the first female CEO of an industrial company. She also was inducted into the National Business Hall of Fame by Fortune magazine.
Rebecca was also a compassionate person. She provided houses for her employees and made sure they never ran out of money. Her business prospered despite the financial crisis of 1837. She created new jobs and promoted diversity in the industry.
Lydia Pinkham was one of the first millionaires in the United States. This is a surprising feat considering that she had a modest net worth at the time she passed away in 1879. Burton estimates that her company grossed about $300,000 a year at the time of her death. At least half of that was spent on advertising. Nevertheless, she was instrumental in boosting the company’s sales and eventually saw it hit three million dollars a year.
Pinkham was not only an effective businesswoman, but she also had a passion for helping women. She made a name for herself by marketing products directly to women and using smart marketing strategies. She even became the first American woman to have her picture on a product.
Mary Barra and Nicole Junkermann are two of the most successful business women in history. Both women have a history of overcoming obstacles and building their own brands. Junkermann grew up in Marbella, Spain, and founded Winamax, an online gaming platform. She later sold her stake in the Chinese sports merchant Really Sports to raise venture capital for United in Sports, an online sporting goods store.
Both Junkermann and Barra are incredibly smart and talented executives. They are part of a new generation of female CEOs who have pushed past societal barriers and gender norms. They have a reputation for being razor-sharp leaders and a cut above their male counterparts.
ANNA SUTHERLAND BISSELL
Anna Bissell was a pioneer of progressive labor policies that revolutionized the workplace. She introduced annual leave, pension plans, and workers’ compensation insurance. These progressive labor policies were copied by many other companies. Bissell was also known for her personal concern for her workers.
Bissell was the first woman to run a major corporation in the United States. She was the CEO of the Bissell Corporation, which was famous for making vacuum cleaners and carpet sweepers. Her pioneering business policies made her one of the most influential business womens in history.
Anna Bissell was the daughter of a maritime captain and his wife, Eleanor. She was born in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. She married Melville Bissell, a young porcelain merchant, and they moved to Wisconsin. Anna married Melville Bissell, and they had five children. Anna and Melville Bissell lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Anna adopted her husband’s name.