50 Most Powerful Moms of 2014 | Working Mother

50 Most Powerful Moms of 2014

With everything we're charged to do on a day-to-day basis, all working mothers are innately powerful. But some inspire us to keep striving for bigger and better. We think you’ll agree this year's crop of power moms from around the globe have demonstrated the talent, business acumen, innovative spirit and sheer guts to make a formidable impact on the world in so many compelling ways.

* Denotes new to the list this year

Christina Aguilera *

Christina Aguilera *

[Entertainment/Literature]
Singer, Actress, The Voice Coach, Humanitarian
Children: Max, 6, one on the way (a girl!)

Undoubtedly one of the most gifted vocalists of our time, Christina's music spans many genres and has garnered a spate of awards, including four Grammys and numerous MTV, ALMA and BMI awards, among others. She first garnered attention as a child, appearing on Star Search and The Mickey Mouse Club;_ her first album, released in 1999, spawned three No. 1 singles. Christina's current hit, _Say Something, with A Great Big World, still looms high on the charts after climbing to the top months ago. But this mama is far more than a vocal diva. As Ambassador Against Hunger for the World Food Programme and other hunger-relief agencies. she's helped raise $22 million for the cause. Even with all this pull, however, she experiences the same parenting anxieties we all do. When son Max started a new school last year, she told Jay Leno: "It was like my first day going back to school. Are the other parents going to like me?"

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts

[Tech/Science]
Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores, Apple
Children: Jennings, 18, Sommer, 17, and Angelina, 13

Angela just joined Apple, but has always been a fan of the brand—she told the_ Wall Street Journal_ in 2010_ that she looked to the company as a business model to emulate. Her new position requires her to oversee the strategic direction, expansion and operation of Apple's robust retail operations. It's a great fit, as Angela has a lot of experience making a legacy brand better. Named CEO of Burberry in 2006, she played an instrumental role in transforming the company from stodgy trench-coat purveyor into an award-winning fresh luxury brand. Angela strongly believes in building a culture of empathy and trust. She told _Fast Company, "I know it might sound weird, but empathy is one of the greatest creators of energy. It's counterintuitive, because it's selfless." We have no doubt this empathy will drive her toward great success in her new gig.

Christiane Amanpour

Christiane Amanpour

**[News/Advertising]
Chief International Correspondent, CNN
Children: Darius, 14
**

British Iranian Christiane is one of the world's most highly respected journalists, having earned every prestigious award in her profession. She's often called upon to cover the world’s most significant events and go toe-to-toe with top leaders. As CNN’s chief international correspondent and anchor of Amanpour, a nightly foreign affairs program on CNN International, she also moonlights as the global affairs anchor for ABC News. The summa cum laude graduate journalism student from the University of Rhode Island worked her way up from entry-level assistant at CNN’s assignment desk. She frequently campaigns to free captive journalists in the Middle East but admits she didn't think twice about going into war zones until she had her son. She told the Harvard Business Review: "I said I was going to take my child on the road with me. And I would dress him up in Kevlar diapers and get a mini-bulletproof vest, all that kind of funny stuff that. When people ask you how you’re going to continue your career, you just give glib answers. I still go to those places. Even though I do, I calibrate what I do and how long I stay more carefully than I did before I was a mother."

Mary Barra

Mary Barra

[Retail/Manufacturing]
CEO, General Motors****
Children: Son, 17, daughter, 15

Power requires strength through adversity, and Mary is in the midst of accessing her reserves. Currently under fire for a GM faulty ignition switch scandal that led to a recall of 2.6 million cars, GM's first female CEO (since early this year) knows cars: Mary's been at the company for 33 years, and her dad spent 39 years as a die maker at Pontiac. Starting off as an 18-year-old co-op student at the Pontiac Motor division of General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), she earned a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She's been responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM cars all over the world since 2011, and she’s on the Executive Operations Committee and on the Adam Opel AG Supervisory Board. This mom of two has definitely worked past gender issues to thrive in a largely-male-driven industry. Said former boss Daniel Akerson, “Mary was picked for her talent, not her gender.”

Dana Bash *

Dana Bash *

[News/Advertising]
Anchor and Chief Congressional Correspondent, CNN****
Children: Jonah, 3

They say that knowledge is power, and Dana wields it well with an insider's access to world leaders that few others possess. She worked her way up the CNN ladder from a stint as freelancer 20 years ago, today covering all things U.S. Senate and House for the network. Winner of the prestigious Dirksen Award from the National Press Foundation for her work as chief correspondent since December 2008, she's interviewed the world's foremost decision makers and covered significant world events like the Iraq war. Her passion for news must be genetic—Dad was an ABC news producer. Dana graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in political communications from George Washington University. Of women in broadcast journalism, she told Aspire magazine: "If you're a woman, you're under so much scrutiny if your hair is sticking out…all you can do is try not to take that stuff personally."

Victoria Beckham *

Victoria Beckham *

[****Fashion/Tastemakers]
Fashion Designer, Singer
Children: Brooklyn, 15, Romeo, 11, Cruz, 9, and Harper, 2

It's been just six years since the former Spice Girl launched her namesake brand, and this workhorse mama has since been zooming down the fashion fast track. Married to soccer superstar David Beckham for 15 years and a mom of four, Beckham's form-flattering dresses have, according to Forbes, earned more than $40 million in sales annually—growing at a double-digit rate. Her rabid following is comprised of Hollywood darlings like Amy Adams, Gwyneth Paltrow and Blake Lively. Having squashed any hope for a Spice Girls reunion, Victoria recently told Allure she couldn't have achieved all she has as a designer without putting in the time and elbow grease: "I got there in the end because I did believe that if you work hard enough, then you can achieve a lot."

Beyoncé

Beyoncé

[Entertainment/Literature]
Singer, Actress, Mogul
Children: Blue Ivy, 2

Queen Bey made our list again because she's got the music biz on lock! Married to music mogul Jay-Z, this Grammy-winning mom's latest "visual album," Beyoncé, made marriage and motherhood so sexy it sold half a million copies in the first 24 hours of its release. What's more, she just wrapped her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, earning $188.6 million for her booty-busting moves. So what's next? While gracing this month's cover of Out, she strongly advocates for equality in its pages: "There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free and women are not. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that. You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist and a feminist—whatever you want to be—and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive."

Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely

**[****Fashion/Tastemakers]
Founder, Spanx; Philanthropist
Children: Lazer, 5
**

After cutting the feet off her tights to smooth panty lines, Sara launched Spanx and in 10 years turned $5,000 and her idea into a billion dollar company. How'd the former fax machine saleswoman do it? Pluck, gumption and determination to learn, as she told CNBC: "What you don't know can become your greatest asset if you'll let it and if you have the confidence to say, I'm going to do it anyway even though I haven't been taught or somebody hasn't shown me the way." To help women, she ****established the Sara Blakely Foundation and signed the Giving Pledge, an initiative by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet, to motivate the nation's wealthiest to donate half of their wealth to charitable causes. Of the complexities involving the work life balance with her 5-year-old, she told ABC News: "I block off chunks of my day that are dedicated to Mom and chunks of my day that are dedicated to work. And that has really calmed my thinking down and made me feel less anxious."

Cate Blanchett *

Cate Blanchett *

**[Entertainment/Literature]
Actress, Theater Artistic Director****
Children: Dashiell, 11, Roman, 8, and Ignatius, 4
**

Fresh off a best actress Academy Award for her performance in Blue Jasmine, Cate has firmly established herself as the current top chameleon of stage and screen, having earned numerous awards for such diverse roles as Queen Elizabeth, Bob Dylan and Katharine Hepburn (which earned her a best supporting actress Oscar). In 1992, the graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art was snapped up by the Sydney Theater Company and lauded for her roles in The Seagull and The Tempest before conquering the U.K. and the U.S. with her formidable talent. Cate is currently filming Carol with Rooney Mara and awaiting the release of the JFK thriller Blackbird. She's married to screenwriter Andrew Upton, with whom she is joint artistic director of the Sydney Theater Company. Of balancing her hectic work schedule with raising their sons, she told the Herald Scotland: "They're not interested whether you're playing Lady Macbeth or Jasmine French or Hamlet. They just want their dinner and for you to do their homework with them."

Rosalind Brewer

Rosalind Brewer

[Retail/Manufacturing]
President and CEO, Sam’s Club/Walmart**
Children: one son, one daughter**

Rosalind is the first woman_ and_ first African American to become CEO at Sam’s Club. No wonder she was cited by Fortune as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business for the past four years, though she had to cut 2,300 middle management jobs early this year to streamline operations. She launched her career as an organic chemist at Kimberly-Clark, where she worked for more than 20 years, rising to president of the nonwoven fabrics business. Roz holds a bachelor's degree from Spelman College and also graduated from Director’s College at the University of Chicago School of Business/Stanford School of Law. When Capital Style asked__ how she juggles raising children with work, she said, "I have to prioritize. It takes almost every day to do that though. And learning how to say no. That I still fight with. Every now and then, my heart gets in the way and I can’t help it."

Sandra Bullock *

Sandra Bullock *

[Entertainment/Literature]
Actress, Producer
Children: Louis, 2

Sandra is one of the savviest and most talented leading ladies on the silver screen. The Academy Award winner reportedly negotiated a deal that earned her $77 million (and an Oscar nod) from Gravity alone, boosting her estimated net worth to more than $150 million. Virginia-born Sandra learned to perform as a kid, scoring roles on tour with her opera singer mom. After studying acting at East Carolina University, she moved to New York City to make a go of it, busting through to the mainstream in 1994 with the humungous hit film Speed. Earning a best actress Oscar in 2009 for The Blind Side, she's also carried films including The Proposal, Crash and Heat. What's next? A follow-up to Heat and a voice-over part in The Minions, due out in 2015, and, of course, abundant quality time with her adorable son. She recently told Entertainment Weekly, "I have a feeling that work is going to shift now because I don't want to drag him around to places. He really will be happy anywhere, but I want to know as a mom that I've provided him people, experiences, education—life things—before I go, 'I'm an actress and I need to act.' I really don't need to act."

Tory Burch

Tory Burch

**[****Fashion/Tastemakers]
Designer and Founder, Tory Burch; Activist
Children: Nick and Henry, 16, Sawyer, 13
**

One of the few women to cap the Forbes World Billionaires list for two years running, Tory earned her considerable fortune by following her passion for fashion to create an iconic women's brand. She launched her eponymous collection from her kitchen in 2004, and she now has plans to expand into activewear by 2015. Her distinctive handbags, logo ballet slippers, shoes, jewelry and preppy-boho tunics sell in some 100 namesake stores worldwide and are featured in more than 1000 others. Equally passionate about her charity, the Tory Burch Foundation, she was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship Initiative for her foundation's economic empowerment of women and families through mentoring women-owned small businesses. She told Elle: "Having my own company really opened my eyes to a lot of the glaring problems women still face."

Sylvia Mathews Burwell *

Sylvia Mathews Burwell *

[Politics]
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
Children: two

As the newly appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia is charged with the challenge of making the Affordable Health Care Act work. She's no stranger to a fiscal fight, having ordered the shutdown of government last year as President Obama's budget chief. Raised in a small town in West Virginia, Sylvia graduated Harvard University cum laude, went on to study at the University of Oxford and became a Rhodes scholar. Her strong foundation in government stems from her many gigs in the Clinton administration, including deputy budget director. Previous jobs also include president of the Walmart Foundation, president of global development for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a seat on the board of directors at MetLife. Upon her nomination, Sylvia spoke of working for the healthy lives of families: "I look forward to carrying on the important work of ensuring that children, families and seniors have the building blocks of healthy and productive lives."

Safra Catz

Safra Catz

[Tech/Science]
Co-President and CFO, Oracle
Children: two

Last year, Safra once again topped Fortune's list of the most highly paid women in America. She was instrumental in elevating Oracle's cloud computing service and, according to CNN, completed seven acquisitions last year earning around $5 billion. Born in Israel to a Holocaust survivor, Safra’s family moved to suburban Boston when she was a child. She graduated from Wharton and received her JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. During her time at Oracle, she’s held positions as chief financial officer, executive vice president and senior vice president. Before Oracle, she was managing director of investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Colleague Joseph Grundfest once told CNN of Safra's notoriously low profile: "She's much more interested in Oracle's stock going up than she is in having her picture on the cover of a magazine."

Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins

[Entertainment/Literature]
Author, Hunger Games series
Children: two

This multi-million-selling Hunger Games scribe had a healthy career writing for children's television before tackling young adult books, working on shows like Clarissa Explains it All and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy. Living a low-key life in Connecticut with her husband and kids, Suzanne recently gave a rare interview to Time during the release of the second movie in her Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire. She described how writing the trilogy changed her life: "This would be the first time in my career where I’ve been able to work on whatever I wanted and not have financial concerns involved. You know that’s how I made my living for many years, and that’s a luxury I don’t think anyone that’s been a writer long-term would not be very grateful for or unaware of."

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

[Entertainment/Literature]
Actress, **Writer, **Producer
Children: Alice, 8, Penelope, 2

Our favorite Golden Globe Awards co-host (along with fellow power mom Amy Poehler), this Emmy/Golden Globe/SAG award–winning movie star, New York Times best-selling author, genius script writer and 30 Rock producer/showrunner always leaves us looking forward to her next endeavor. She was the first female head writer at Saturday Night Live and is, of course, universally recognized for her whip-smart wit. Fresh off a starring role in The Muppets…Again! will next share the big screen with bestie Amy P. in The Nest this year. With all she has under her belt, though, this mom isn't above being challenged by her children, as exemplified by her recent yogurt-in-her-hair American Express commercial. She recently described daughter Penelope as a "sociopath" to Jimmy Fallon: "I'm stupid! I thought, Well, they're both girls. Why are they so different? They're two different people."

Melinda Gates *

Melinda Gates *

[Philanthropy]
Co-Founder and Co-Chair, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; **Businesswoman
Children: Jennifer, 18, Rory, 15, Phoebe, 12**

Melinda and husband Bill have used their formidable wealth to create real change in the world since 1996. Responsible for the strategies and direction of their foundation, their goal is to, according to their website, "improve equity in the United States and around the world." Melinda is dedicated to giving women in developing countries more control over their own bodies and has made it her mission to deliver birth control and contraceptives in order to drive health and prosperity in their societies. Of her philanthropic efforts, she told The Telegraph, "I care much more about saving the lives of mothers and babies than I do about a fancy museum somewhere. Knowing you’ve got a family started on a path to self-sufficiency, that is job satisfaction."

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

[Politics]
U.S. Senator, New York (D)
Children: Theodore, 10, Henry, 5

The U.S. junior senator from New York since 2009 (serving in the House the two years prior), Kirsten is one of only two women in the Senate with young children. This rising Democratic star is a passionate advocate for women's causes, having lobbied hard for a bill that would force the military to handle allegations of sexual assault outside of the chain of command—but unfortunately coming up short. She did manage to raise $1 million for female political candidates on top of the $15 million she raised for her own winning bid in 2012. She's also advocated for the STOCK Act, banning insider trading by Congress members, and led the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Yet with all these honorable pursuits, a recent _New Yorker article _depicted Kristen in the midst of a day care fiasco, having to leave work to pick her child up and bring him to the office because she was sans sitter—just like the rest of us.

Theresia Gouw *

Theresia Gouw *

[Tech/Science]
Partner, Aspect Ventures; Entrepreneur
Children: two

Theresia is an expert on how to turn a dollar into millions in the mobile space. Along with partner and friend of 25 years Jennifer Fonstad, she just launched Aspect Ventures, a venture capital firm. She was formerly the only woman on an 18-person team at Accel Partners, earning a spot on Forbes 2013 Midas List of top tech dealmakers for her "Midas touch." Her investments include Birchbox, Imperva, lifestyle online publisher Glam Media, vintage e-tailer ModCloth, research engine Trulia and LearnVest, a personal finance site for women. Of her latest venture, Theresia told CNNMoney, "By being more visible and showing we can do this, maybe women will become more confident to be entrepreneurs and investors themselves." According to the Aspect Ventures website, she spends weekends "running around after her two children."

Nikki Haley *

Nikki Haley *

**[Politics]
Governor of South Carolina**** (R)
Children: Rena, 15, and Nalin, 12
**

She's broken a lot of political ground: Elected in 2010, Nikki is the youngest U.S. governor in office, the first woman governor of South Carolina and one of two sitting Indian American governors (the other is Louisiana's Bobby Jindal). Prior to being elected governor, she served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2010. Nikki was born to Sikh immigrants from Punjab, India, and graduated from Clemson University with a political science degree. She was inspired to run for office by none other than Hillary Clinton. As she told the_ New York Times_: "Everybody was telling me why I shouldn’t run: I was too young, I had small children, I should start at the school board level. I went to Birmingham University, and Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker on a leadership institute, and she said that when it comes to women running for office, there will be everybody that tells you why you shouldn’t but that’s all the reasons why we need you to do it, and I walked out of there thinking That’s it. I’m running for office.

Salma Hayek *

Salma Hayek *

**[Entertainment/Literature]
Actress, Activist, Cosmetics Mogul
Children: Valentina, 6
**

With a net worth Forbes estimates at $85 million, Salma is even more than an actress, producer and activist—she's also a beauty entrepreneur. Nuance, the line she developed for CVS, was inspired by her grandmother's homemade beauty products. Actress Salma earned Academy Award, BAFTA, SAG and Golden Globe nominations for her impassioned portrayal of Frida Kahlo and is currently producing and acting in an animated film called The Prophet, with Liam Neeson. A long-time advocate for survivors of domestic violence, she once testified before the U.S. Senate committee. Salma has been married to Kering (a luxury, sport and lifestyle brands company) CEO Francois-Henri Pinault since 2009 and will soon move to London. She told Virgin Media she'd "kill for a role on Downton Abbey," but to do so, as a Mexican, she'd have to play "deaf and dumb." To balance her various ventures with motherhood, she told New Beauty: "My rule is that I won't be away from Valentina for more than a week."

Sarah Hofstetter *

Sarah Hofstetter *

**[News/Advertising]
CEO of 360i
Children: two, 14 and 12
**

Sarah makes our list for her significant expertise as a brand strategist and social media pioneer for clients including Coca Cola, JCPenney and NBC Universal. Voted this year's best digital agency by Advertising Age, Adweek, MediaPost and Mashable and one of the__ top 10 innovative companies by_ Fast Company,_ i360 made Sarah its global chief early this year. Before joining the company, the former journalism student had her own brand strategy agency and spent 10 years honing her expertise at Net2Phone, a pioneer provider of VoIP technology. A devout Orthodox Jew who stays offline every Friday to observe the Sabbath, Sarah told Digiday: ”There are no shortage of things that tug at my strings, and being a working parent, there’s the Jewish guilt certainly. But having a supportive organization and supportive family has helped. Maybe I can’t take your call on Friday night during Sabbath, but as soon as Sabbath is over, I will go to all ends of the earth pretty much the six other days of the week.”


A.M. Homes *

A.M. Homes *

**[Entertainment/Literature]
Novelist, Producer, Journalist, TV Writer
Children: Juliet, 11
**

There's tremendous power and influence in words, and A.M. is a true master of telling compelling stories that simultaneously move and challenge us. This power mom has earned some of the loftiest accolades a writer can achieve (the Women's Prize for Fiction for her most recent novel, May We Be Forgiven, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship) and caved out an impressive, multifaceted career by depicting, as she told The Guardian, "the gap between who people are publicly and privately." Raised in a suburb of Washington DC, A.M. has written seven best-selling novels and two short story collections, penned articles for the likes of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker and wrote and produced a few seasons of Showtime's The L Word. She's currently developing projects for CBS and is teaching in the creative writing program at Princeton University. About maintaining high standards for her work, she recently told the literary journal Granta: "If I’m going to ask people to stop living their lives and pay attention to my work or my book, it needs to be a condensed version of life. The other day I likened it to the difference between grape juice and wine. If I spend seven years writing something, I really hope it’s not grape juice."

Sri Mulyani Indrawani *

Sri Mulyani Indrawani *

**[Finance/Business]
COO and Managing Director, the World Bank Group; Economist
Children: One daughter, two sons
**

Sri Mulyani is basically in charge of World Bank's operations in 70 countries around the globe. As the former finance minister of Indonesia, she reformed her roost with a tough hand and, as a result, was lauded for strengthening Indonesia's economy through a financial crisis, tackling corruption and earning tremendous respect for her efforts. She holds a PhD in economics from the University of Illinois and is a regular on Forbes__' list of the most powerful women in the world. When Charlie Rose asked if she plans to run for President of Indonesia, she said, "I feel honored that people think that I can contribute good things to Indonesia."

Laurene Powell Jobs

Laurene Powell Jobs

[Philanthropy]
Philanthropist, Founder and Chair of Emerson Collective, **Disney Shareholder **
Children: Reed, 23, Erin, 18, Eve, 16

The largest individual shareholder of Disney with a net worth of an estimated $13 billion-plus, Laurene could easily sit around and eat bon-bons all day but, instead, uses her significant power to improve education and advocate for immigration reform. Having earned an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business (where she first met Steve Jobs and now serves on the board of trustees), Laurene knows money—she once was a fixed-income trading strategist at Goldman Sachs. Still, she uses her wisdom to help those less fortunate. Her foundation, Emerson Collective, funds strategic educational reform efforts around the globe. Laurene also serves on the boards of the New America Foundation and Teach for America. In a rare televised appearance to advocate for immigration reform, she**** told NBC's Brian Williams that she sympathized with parents who built lives in this country by any means necessary: "You know, if you are in desperate poverty, if you are struggling, if you would do anything in the world to get a better life for your kids, who are we to say—to judge you so harshly?"

Abigail Johnson

Abigail Johnson

**[Finance/Business]
President, Fidelity Financial Services
Children: two daughters, 19 and 15
**

Abigail is the twenty-third wealthiest American on the Forbes 400 list, with a net worth estimated at $17.2 billion. It's no wonder. As president of Fidelity Financial Services, she oversees asset management, retail and institutional brokerage, and retirement and benefits services, reporting to her father, Edward Crosby Johnson III. Although Fidelity is the family business, Abigail worked her way up from the bottom, answering phones in customer service as a teen. Of this gig, she told Forbes, “It gave me an appreciation of what it was like to be responsible for really important things in people’s lives and making sure that they were always done accurately and correctly.” This precision with numbers led to a job as a stock analyst in 1988, senior vice president 10 years later and president of investment services by 2001. A Bostonian, she holds a BA from Hobart and William Smith College and an MBA from Harvard.

Kim Kardashian *

Kim Kardashian *

**[Entertainment/Literature]
Reality Show Star, Social Media Maven, Fashion Mogul
Children: North, 1
**

One can't deny the sheer reach of this new mom and recent Vogue cover girl. The daughter of OJ defense attorney Robert Kardashian and businesswoman Kris (Kardashian) Jenner, Kim was best known for a sex tape and her friendship with socialite and reality star Paris Hilton until scoring a reality show with her family, Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Her own turn in the spotlight led to numerous endorsement deals, modeling opportunities, offshoot reality shows and, eventually, namesake cosmetics, clothing, jewelry and fragrance lines and a chain of retail stores with her sisters. Her current net worth: around $40 million. Motherhood seems to have tamed Kim somewhat. After the birth of daughter North with rapper Kanye West, she blogged, "The past couple of weeks have been filled with the most exciting experiences of my life."

Marianne Lake *

Marianne Lake *

[Finance/Business]
Executive Vice President and CFO, JPMorgan Chase & Co
Children: one son, 2

Marianne has been finance chief of the banking behemoth JPMorgan Chase since early 2013—and is one of the most powerful women on Wall Street. At JPMorgan Chase for 14 years, she was charged with damage control for the "London whale" scandal in 2012, when the company's European bankers lost $6 billion on bad trades. She still led the firm to a reported $21 billion profit that year. Of raising her young son solo, she told_ Marie Claire, “_I rely on a small circle of friends and my great nanny. In the mornings, I try to spend anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes with my son. Failing that, I try for 30 to 60 minutes together at the end of the day. I try to make that work, but if I can't, I just move on. You can't beat yourself up about it.__ I never worried about raising a kid on my own. I'm 42, not 20 with my eyes closed. The circumstances aren't traditional, but I didn't hesitate to do it."

Donna Langley *

Donna Langley *

**[Entertainment/Literature]
Chairman, Universal Pictures
Children: two sons, 4 and 2
**

One of the most powerful women in Hollywood, Donna oversees Universal’s production strategy and the studio's Focus Features division. She just got a promotion, adding international production and marketing and domestic marketing to her already lengthy list of responsibilities. She first joined Universal Pictures in 2001 as senior vice president of production, then was promoted to president of production, overseeing hits like Despicable Me 2 _and _Fast & Furious 6. Next up is the highly anticipated film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, due out February 2015—an acquisition Donna spearheaded. Of managing the demands of motherhood with her career, she told CNN: "It is difficult. I think as women we carry a huge amount of guilt every second of every day we are not with our children. I hope ultimately that they would have pride in the fact that they have a mother who loves what she does and goes to work every day happy."

Julie Larson-Green

Julie Larson-Green

**[Tech/Science]
Chief Experience Officer, Applications and Servers Group, Microsoft
Children: one daughter and one son
**

Hopelessly addicted to your Xbox? That's because this 20-year Microsoft veteran, newly appointed to her current spot in Applications and Servers, has spent the majority of her career focused on creating the ultimate user experience. Julie's responsibilities have a huge impact on PC users everywhere, ensuring Microsoft's look and feel is consistent across all platforms. She was formerly the executive vice president of Devices and Studios. Before that she was a program manager in Development Tools and Languages, and she also led program management efforts for Microsoft Office FrontPage. Always obsessed with technology, she earned a degree in business administration from Western Washington University, taught herself to program and started supporting developers within a year, returning to college for a master’s in software engineering from Seattle University. In an email she sent to her team during her recent transition, Julie cited a Chinese proverb helpful to anyone subject to the vagaries of business: "To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus *

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus *

[Finance/Business]
**Chairman, Louis-Dreyfus Holdings
Children: Eric, 22, and twins Kyril and Mauric, 16
**

With an estimated net worth of $8.7 billion, Margarita became chairman of their namesake French global commodities firm when her husband died of leukemia in 2009. The company is one of the largest agricultural commodities trading firms in the world, and Margarita has been fighting to keep it, gradually accumulating shares from other family members. She also gives back—the Louis-Dreyfus foundation helps small farmers build self-sufficiency. The Russian-born mom told CNN she learned to operate in a man's world while fighting for her husband's life: "I had to unite five big [medical] professors from around the world at one table. Each of them was... used to their decision being followed. So for me, I felt the strength of the woman. Because all of these men, they have big egos and I was kind of there to absorb these egos, give them the feeling of respecting their opinion—even if you don't take it. Later when I came to the man's world of commodities, also with big egos, I was used this experience. Nobody knows everything so the main thing is to work together."

Jenna Lyons *

Jenna Lyons *

[Fashion/Tastemakers]
President and Executive Creative Director, J.Crew
Children: Beckett, 7

Jenna worked her way up the J.Crew rungs for 23 years to eventually become president and executive creative director of the company—and the tastemaker who dresses, among a host of other celebs, the First Lady. Since her ascent, Jenna is credited for J.Crew's hip and cohesive rebrand, complete with its own fan blogs. The company's annual revenue grew 20 percent last year to $2.2 billion with more than 400 stores, and sister brand Madewell was established as an adjacent success. While overseeing the first London J.Crew storefront, opening late last year, Jenna added a compelling sidebar to her career: a guest spot on a few episodes of the HBO hit series Girls. Of balancing her insane travel schedule with mom time, she told Chatelaine.com, "It’s hard, but I make an effort."

Capricia Penavic Marshall *

Capricia Penavic Marshall *

[Politics]
Ambassador-in-Residence, **Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, **Atlantic Council
Children: Robert, 14

As ambassador-in-residence at the nonpartisan international affairs arbiter Atlantic Council, and before that the U.S. chief of protocol, Capricia has spent years cultivating and managing relationships with foreign presidents, prime ministers and assorted dignitaries around the world. Last summer she made headlines for unapologetically stepping down from her chief of protocol role to spend more time with her husband, a cardiologist, and teenage son. Of this decision, she said, “My son is going into eighth grade. It will be very demanding and I want to be there. It’s important.” Capricia, a first generation American of Croatian and Mexican descent, launched her career as special assistant to the First Lady. She was then promoted to deputy assistant to the President and White House social secretary at age 32—the youngest person to hold that position. Should Hillary Clinton run for office, it'll be interesting to see if Marshall joins her team.

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer

[Tech/Science]
**CEO, Yahoo!
Children: Macallister, 1
**

Marissa famously grabbed the reins at Yahoo! two years ago, and she's certainly faced her challenges since. The company's stock went down 18 percent since the beginning of this year but is inching up again, and Yahoo! has reportedly released more products since she's been at the helm than in the five years previous. This Wisconsin native, workhorse and self-described geek is no stranger to taking control. Currently the youngest head of a Fortune 500 company, Marissa was vice president of Google, where she was the first female engineer they hired, inventing algorithms that made Google AdWords so successful. She has now apparently turned her focus to content deals, with sights set on developing a show (like Netflix's House of Cards). She's also recently hired Katie Couric as global news anchor. With respect to her work life juggle, she once told Fortune the only way she could do it all was to "ruthlessly prioritize."

Cheryl Mills *

Cheryl Mills *

[Politics]
Lawyer, Former Counselor and Chief of Staff, Department of State
Children: Twin son and daughter, 9

The former chief of staff to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Cheryl is a long time Clinton confidante and may play a key role in the campaign should Hill decide to run for president again. This Army lieutenant's daughter graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia and earned her law degree at Stanford University. After a stint in a DC law firm, Cheryl became deputy general counsel for the Clinton/Gore Transition Planning Foundation after the 1992 presidential election. She continued working in the White House, including as deputy counsel to the President, until the end of Clinton’s impeachment trial. Today, Cheryl is starting an economic development enterprise in Africa and remains a strong advocate for LGBT equality. Of work life balance, she once told ABC News: "Being able to see her [Hillary Clinton] with Chelsea, see what their relationship was like, see when she took the time, all those things helped you to be thoughtful about how to be an effective parent yourself."

Ann Miura-Ko, PhD

Ann Miura-Ko, PhD

[Finance/Business]
Co-founding Partner, Floodgate Fund, Lecturer at Stanford University
Children: three, 6, 4 and 2

This self-described “soccer mom” and “investing ninja assassin” is a seemingly tireless, highly regarded tech-power broker. Some 10 years ago, Ann helped found Floodgate Fund investments company, a super angel fund dedicated to helping ambitious tech entrepreneurs become “great business success stories.” Among her successes: Twitter and Digg. The daughter of a NASA rocket scientist and mom of three young children, Ann also nurtures entrepreneurs as a PhD who lectures at Stanford University and sits on the boards of budding brands including ModCloth, Refinery29, Chloe+ Isabel, Wanelo, Zimride, Ayasdi, Inscopix and CSS.

Barbara Novick *

Barbara Novick *

[Finance/Business]
Founder and Vice Chairwoman, BlackRock
Children: three

Barbara helped found BlackRock, now a trillion dollar global money management firm, in the late 1980s and remains one of its leaders today. As a member of the global executive committee, she oversees all aspects of the firm’s business and leads a group of executives who represent investors in discussions on regulatory reform. In fact, she recently published a paper warning regulators to rein in predatory high-frequency trading practices. Before founding BlackRock, Barbara was a mortgage products group VP at The First Boston Corporation. She's also a trustee of Cornell University (where she graduated cum laude in 1981), a board member of the UJA-Federation and a passionate youth league soccer coach. During a recent interview with her alma mater, she spoke of sacrifice as a necessity in balancing work with family: "The evidence is you can do it all, but you have to make choices. Whether it's the women or the men it really doesn't matter. If you're really ambitious and really want this kind of career, you are going to sacrifice something."

Amy Pascal

Amy Pascal

[Entertainment/Literature]
Co-Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Pictures Group
Children: Anthony, 13

Amy's incredible show biz success was hard earned. She climbed the ladder from secretary to jobs in development and production to her first executive gig as VP of Production at 20th Century Fox. From there she hopped over to the same position at Columbia, and she later became president of production at both Turner Pictures and Columbia, before filling her current spot at Sony. Amy has earned many industry awards, including the Crystal Award by Women in Film, and serves on the AFI Board of Trustees and the Executive Board of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. With Sony behind a string of recent award-winning movies like American Hustle, Blue Jasmine and_ Captain Phillips_, Amy is newly focused on lending her Midas touch to TV with two hot new series, The Blacklist and Masters of Sex. Of working with her, actor Bradley Cooper told the LA Times: "She is very disarming [and] a fun person to be around. I've been over the moon with how hands-on she is, and how director- and actor-friendly she is."

Amy Poehler *

Amy Poehler *

[Entertainment/Literature]
Actress, Writer, Producer
Children: Archie, 5, and Abel, 3

Funny lady Amy P. first honed her wicked sense of humor at Boston College, then at Second City in Chicago. Working the sketch comedy scene in New York City, she launched Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB)—formerly a comedy troupe and Comedy Central TV show and currently a full-fledged training ground for funny people. Amy joined the cast of SNL shortly after 9/11 and moved from featured player to cast member in her first season. She earning her first Emmy nom in 2008, the year she was Hillary Clinton to Tina Fey's Sarah Palin. Now starring on NBC's Parks and Recreation, she's earned an Emmy and found great success hosting the Golden Globes with SNL/Second City BFF Tina. She's also now producing the hilarious Broad City for Comedy Central and a new series for NBC starring her brother, Greg, called Welcome to Sweden, and she'll soon co-star on the big screen with fellow power mom Tina in The Nest. Oh, and she's working on a book, too. With only 24 hours in a day, she credits sleep deprivation to her productivity, telling Elle: "Now that I have little kids, I’m up at 5:30 a.m. no matter what. Sleep at this point is just a concept, something I’m looking forward to investigating in the future."

Shonda Rhimes *

Shonda Rhimes *

**[Entertainment/Literature]
Writer, Producer, Director
Children: Harper, 11, Emerson, 3, and Beckett, 1
**

You can't list power women in entertainment without including the genius behind the hit TV shows Scandal, Grey's Anatomy and_ __Private Practice_. Chicago-native Shonda earned her MFA from USC's School of Cinema-Television, having read that it was harder to get into than Harvard Law. After a stint as a film development assistant, she sold her first script and went on to lend her writing skills to such notable films as Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. S_he then became obsessed with TV and sold her first pilot. Fresh off of winning a Directors Guild Of America Diversity Award, the mom of three is currently at work on a memoir and recently penned a piece describing the arduous process of adoption for _The Daily Beast: "...you spend months researching—domestic, international, agency, private, foster, open, closed, older child, newborn, special needs.... There are mountains of paperwork—financial statements, personal essays, biographies, medical reports. You get fingerprinted and photographed and interviewed and examined... and then a birth mother picks you. You get picked. Your hard work pays off."

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

**[Tech/Science]
COO, Facebook; Author
Children: two sons, 8 and 6
**

It's hard to believe this ringleader of the "Lean In" movement and author of its manifesto didn't want to be dubbed "most likely to succeed" in high school. As chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl has grown the integral communications portal to the all-encompassing experience it is today. The former vice president of global online sales and operations for Google also worked for former Harvard president Larry Summers during his tenure as President Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury. Most recently, in an editorial she wrote for the Wall Street Journal, Sheryl explained the motivation behind her new "Ban Bossy" campaign: "When a little boy takes charge in class or on the playground, nobody is surprised or offended. We _expect__ _him to lead. But when a little girl does the same, she is often criticized and disliked. How are we supposed to level the playing field for girls and women if we discourage the very traits that get them there?"

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

[Politics]
U.S. Congresswoman (D), Florida; Chair, Democratic National Committee; Author
Children: twins Rebecca and Jake, 14, and Shelby, 10

This U.S. House representative, DNC chair and mom (and breast cancer survivor) has made it her mission to advocate for family health. A native New Yorker, Debbie has been a resident of South Florida since college and served in the Florida State Legislature as both representative and senator. Having served nearly 10 years in the U.S. House, her current assignments include the House Committee on Appropriations. She also serves on the bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. Her recent book, For the Next Generation, outlines what the country needs to do to ensure our children's future. Debbie recently told us what her career has meant to her kids, who "have always been a part of my professional life to the degree they’ve wanted to be. They were born into public service. When they were babies, I had them on one hip and stood at the podium and talked to my constituents. When people come up to me in a restaurant or on the street and, usually nicely, say they appreciate the work I’m doing, one of my kids will grab his or her phone and offer to take a picture. Public service is a family affair in the Schultz household."

Shakira *

Shakira *

[Entertainment/Literature]
Singer, Dancer, Producer, Coach for The Voice, Activist
Children: Milan, 1

There's a lot more to Shakira than spunky mentor or impressively agile hips—last year Forbes named her one of the Most Powerful Women in the World. The Columbian-born new mom has been a recording artist since the tender age of 13. Thus far, she's won MTV Video Awards, two Grammys, eight Latin Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, as well as a Golden Globe nomination. After moderate success in the Latin market, Shakira first topped the U.S. charts in 2001 and has churned out the hits ever since. Her most recent release is part of a deal she signed with Live Nation for $30 million. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, she's opened six schools in Columbia through her Pies Descalos (Barefoot) foundation, met with President Obama and spoke at Harvard and Oxford about her work with children and education. Shakira, who lives in Barcelona with her partner, soccer star Gerard Piqué, and their son, recently told _Billboard _about her work life juggle: "A part of me—well, all of me—wants to be with them all the time and be a housewife. But there's another part of me that still wants to make music and that's still pleased with success. I won't deny it. I know it sometimes sounds almost immoral to admit you like success, but I like it."

Yingluck Shinawatra *

Yingluck Shinawatra *

[Politics]
Caretaker Prime Minister, Thailand
Children: Supasek, 11

This mom of one son is the first woman Prime Minister of Thailand. A former businesswoman, Yingluck was elected in 2011 but is currently embroiled in a legal brouhaha, asking for "fair and proper treatment" from her country's national anti-corruption commission and constitutional court during a controversial investigation in a rice subsidy program. Her party tried but failed to pass a bill that would grant her predecessor and brother, Thaksin, political amnesty, fueling rumors that he was still really in charge and resulting in unrest. Yingluck told the BBC late last year that the majority accepts her, even though she won't call for a re-election: "Right now the situation needs to be contained so government can run. The most important thing that came from the election is democracy. I devote myself to my country. I'm not tired. I'm not upset. But I have to fight for democracy." Doesn't that make your year-end review sound like a walk in the park?

**UPDATE: Amid contentious politics in Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra was ousted from office by the Constitutional Court in what some are calling a government coup d'etat. The story continues to unfold.

Katie Jacobs Stanton

Katie Jacobs Stanton

[Tech/Science]
Head of International Strategy, Twitter
Children: Ellie, 13, twins Declan and Caleigh, 11

There's no denying the power of Twitter and its nearly 1 billion users worldwide. Katie is responsible for, well, turning the word tweet into a verb. Having moved from head of international sales and development to head of international strategy, she recently relocated to Paris and tweets bon mots and photos of her continental adventures with her kids. This graduate of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs has also held positions at both Yahoo and Google and served in government as special advisor to the Office of Innovation at the U.S. Department of State. Appointed by President Obama as Director of Citizen Participation, Katie promoted open dialogues between citizens and the White House.

Neera Tanden *

Neera Tanden *

[Politics]
President, Center for American Progress
Children: Ilina, 11, Jaden, 8

A graduate of UCLA and Yale Law School, this Indian American and native New Englander worked on domestic policy for both the Obama and Clinton administrations and also for think tanks. Neera served as chief operating officer of the Center for American Progress before becoming president of this nonpartisan educational institute, and she was also senior advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services. Recognized by Fortu_ne as one of the Most Powerful Women in Politics, Neera wrote candidly for Politico_ about working as policy director for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and how the candidate attended to her staff's work life: "Many people pay lip services to that ever-elusive work-life balance, but Hillary even rescheduled meetings during the presidential campaign so I could attend my daughter’s pre-K graduation and tuck my kids into bed after a long week of late nights."

Kerry Washington *

Kerry Washington *

**[Entertainment/Literature]
Actress, Activist
Children: Isabelle, newborn
**

On Scandal,_Kerry's Olivia Pope on may be the girl most talked about around everyone's virtual water cooler, but in real life this Emmy-nominated power mom (brand new!) has always had her eye on the prize. An exemplary student, Bronx, NY–born Kerry graduated Phi Beta Kappa from George Washington University. Her first break, a commercial, quickly led to a fledgling film career. But she broke through big with her role opposite Jamie Foxx in _Ray, earning an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress. Plum roles followed in The Last King of Scotland, For Colored Girls, the Broadway play Race and Django Unchained. Beyond screen time, Kerry is passionate activist. She was honored with the NAACP President’s Award for special achievement in furthering the cause of civil rights and was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities in 2009. She's also an active member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. Kerry told_ Elle_ she'd still be into playing different roles even if she wasn't an actress: "I imagined I'd be a clinical psychologist, with a focus on how performance shapes identity. I'd figure out ways to use role-playing in the healing of people."

Anne Wojcicki *

Anne Wojcicki *

[Tech/Science]
**Founder & CEO, 23andMe; Biochemist
Children: son Benji, 5, daughter Wojin, 2
**

Want to know who you really are in terms of ancestry and genetic makeup? Anne has developed the at-home genetics test that can tell you with just a tube of your spit. She developed the product with the goal of informing people of their genetic health history—hoping to make health care overall more preventive—but had to squash that service due to the absence of FDA approval. Still, 23andMe has a genetic database of 650,000 samples, and Anne continues to fight the good fight to get FDA buy-in. Prior, Anne, whose sister is fellow power mom Susan Wojcicki of Google, spent 10 years on Wall Street and knows full well what it's like to launch a budding enterprise while raising young kids with their dad, Google co-founder Sergey Brin (they're currently separated). She always tries to spend mornings with the kids and get home for dinner at 6 p.m., but told Inc. she'll occasionally sneak a longer work day: "It's sometimes very efficient to work until 7 p.m.—and then come home to kids who are clean and ready for bed. Those days are good."

Susan Wojcicki

Susan Wojcicki

**[Tech/Science]
CEO, YouTube
Children: four
**

Google tapped Susan to lead YouTube earlier this year. In an exclusive interview with AdAge, she said she's ready to make the stars of YouTube a part of your daily vernacular. How? Through the magic of advertising—and she couldn't be better equipped for this maneuver. Formerly Google's SVP of advertising, she was once cited as the “most important person in advertising," having grown the company's ad business into a $43.7 billion revenue stream as of 2012. And she did this all, according to CNN, while striving to be home in time for dinner with her four children and avoiding contact with colleagues between 6 and 9 p.m. to preserve the sanctity of her family time. Susan joined Google in 1999, housing the company’s HQ in her garage and leading the initial development of some of the Google products vital to our online lives today. An honors Harvard graduate — and sister of fellow Most Powerful Mom Anne Wojcicki, founder and CEO of 23andMe — Susan holds a master’s in economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MBA from UCLA.

Zhang Xin *

Zhang Xin *

**[Finance/Business]
Founder, SOHO China
Children: two sons, 14 and 13
**

Referred to by The Sunday Telegraph as one of the world's "top 10 self-made women" with a personal fortune of more than $3 billion, Xin became the ruler of Chinese real estate through sheer grit, determination and hard work. Having survived the Mao years on the poor outskirts of Bejing, she was a teen factory worker, toiling in sweatshops. By age 20 she'd saved up enough to fly to the U.K., earning scholarships at Sussex and a master's degree at Cambridge. Her first job was at Goldman Sachs on Wall Street, but afterward she returned to China and met her future husband, with whom she founded SOHO—now the largest real estate developer in China. Not one to be ostentatious, Xin told CNN last year that she holds tight to her purse strings around her teenage sons: "It's not easy to be my sons because we're very high profile. I'm very, very tight with them about money. I don't give that money until they ask, 'I need 100 yuan for my lunch card,' and so on. So they never have extra money. But I think that still cannot compare to how we came, where we came (from)."

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