Throughout 2010 workingmother.com has been highlighting the accomplishments of the most powerful moms in the country—from mom leaders in Congress, to CEO moms, to high-ranking military moms. To conclude the year we have selected the most powerful women from our lists to highlight. The women selected have at least one child at home who is 18 years old or younger, reside in the US and are major power players whose accomplishments are also societal contributions. But who is the Most Powerful?
First Lady Michelle Obama’s position as White House mom-in-chief in 2010 certainly led the charge that working mom’s can do it all. While her role does not allow her to receive a paycheck, it’s hard to argue that she is not a working mom. She is a lawyer by training and has upped the ante of work done from the First Lady’s office. In 2010, Obama campaigned against childhood obesity and traveled the world, all while raising two daughters. It also should be noted that Obama’s approval rating has been significantly higher than her husband’s. She wraps up the year with a 78% approval rating while her husband finishes with a 50% approval rating.
2010 has been a banner year for several of the women on this list. Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg pushed the prominence of social media to new heights. Facebook passed the half-billion-user mark and drove its revenue up to $1.6 billion for this year (accomplishments that many credit to Sandberg’s leadership). Tennis player Kim Clijsters won the US Open Title for the third time this year, with a toddler in tow.
Heath care reform continues to dominate the news and there is one mom who is running the country's largest health insurer, making her undeniably a power player in the discussion: Angela Braly, the President and CEO of Wellpoint.
2010 was a year where environmental issues were at the forefront and being green mattered. As President of the Earth Day Network few people are doing as much to protect the earth as Kathleen Rogers, the reason why she gets a spot on our end of the year list. Rogers promotes civic engagement, educates on environmental issues and supports Earth Day events across the world.
Working moms continued to assert their place in historically male dominated fields this year. Susan Hockfield continued in 2010 to reside as President of MIT—proving that math, science and engineering are just as much a woman’s domain as they are a man’s. And women are also making strides in the military. We selected Air Force Brigadier General Michelle Johnson—the first woman to serve as a Cadet Wing Commander at the United States Air Force Academy and now the Director of Strategy, Policy, Programs and Logistics for a special combined military command unit, a military umbrella group, as Working Mother’s Most Powerful Mom in the Military. She is poised for promotion and is expected to be named Major General Johnson in January, 2011.
Despite the gains of working moms this year, there are certain categories where women are still struggling. Women account for a mere 2.7% of CEOs on Fortune’s 1000 list of top companies (moms account for even fewer). We selected PepsiCo’s Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi as one our most powerful mom’s of 2010. This year Nooyi completed the purchase of PepsiCo’s two largest bottlers, bringing Pepsico’s revenue to $60 billion, and investor confidence is there; the stock is up from last year.
2010 was also the first election year in nearly three decades that women have not increased their ranks in Congress. Women now account for only 16.8% of Congress. Two of the women that we selected earlier in the year for our most powerful moms in Congress list lost their seats--Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Senator Blanche Lincoln. Senator Amy Klobuchar, included on our Most Powerful Moms of 2010 list is the first elected female senator from Minnesota, was named by the New York Times as one of the 17 women most likely to become the first female President of the United States and is on the short list as a possible nominee to the US Supreme Court. She is certainly one to watch.
In the end, when we considered the shift in how media plays a part in our lives and the lives of our children, we found Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook to be Working Mother’s Most Powerful Mom of 2010. Industry watchers say, the young visionary and Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has heavily relied on Sandberg to make his company ready for its expansion and growth. The New York Times called it “one of Silicon Valley’s most unusual business partnerships." We just know, it often takes a smart, level-headed, multi-tasking mom to move things to the next level. How does Sandberg raise two kids and lead a new media empire? "If you want to stay in the work force marry the right guy," Sandberg advised at a 2009 Stanford Business School event. "[My husband] has supported me every step of the way. And you also have to understand the trade-offs you make."