The 50 Most Powerful Moms of 2016 | Working Mother

The 50 Most Powerful Moms of 2016

From entertainers to entrepreneurs, politicians to philanthropists, tech mavens to money moguls, this year’s crop of mover-and-shaker working moms rule the world!

Yes, immense income and professional stature certainly count in culling our list of the most formidable women with kids 18 and under. But also on our checklist is the ability to influence and inspire us to reach higher and further in building better lives for ourselves—as well as the sway to elicit thought and change by advocacy and sheer proxy of example. As we do every year, we’ve scanned the globe to bring you a singular group of the most powerful working moms in the world. We dare say you’ll agree that this year’s 50 women (listed alphabetically by work sector) have reached the pinnacle of broad-spectrum power—and then some!
* Denotes new to the list this year

adele

Adele *

[Arts/Entertainment]
Musician/Songwriter/Producer
Children: Angelo, 3
This gorgeous songbird mama, new to our list this year, has reach. Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born and raised in the projects of London, her undeniable talent eventually propelling her into a top-rated London performing-arts school. Today, the young mom completely rules the charts, churning out hit after hit that tugs on the heartstrings of kids and grandparents alike. She boasts last year’s world’s best-selling album, 25 (her third best-selling album in a row), boosting global music business revenues for the first time in almost 20 years. Plus, there’s organic power in her charm and down-to-earth demeanor—millions have watched her Carpool Karaoke segment with James Cordon, making it the most viewed ever. Even with all her success, she recently told Vogue that being Angelo’s mother is her most fulfilling achievement: “[Angelo] makes me very proud of myself. When I became a parent, I felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn’t.” We can’t wait to see where that purpose takes her next.

Photo: youtube.com

Beyonce

Beyonce

[Arts/Entertainment]
Actress/Musician/Producer
Children: Blue Ivy, 4
There’s no stopping this force of nature—every time she sets a bar, she scales it with her next accomplishment. Just look at the already enormous reach and stir over her just released album, Lemonade—CNN just tagged her “the new political goddess.” Beyonce earned an estimated $250 million as of 2015, According to Forbes. The most-nominated woman in Grammy history with 20 awards and 53 nods, her recent single “Formation” championed black culture even as it caused a stir with police. Of the controversy, Bey had it handled: “If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I'm proud of what we created and I'm proud to be a part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way,” she told Elle. As a businessperson, she’s never at a loss for ways to add to her revenue stream. In partnership with Topshop, her latest venture, Ivy Park, marks her upcoming foray into the bustling athleisure market. Another new venture: a music label arm of her company, Parkwood Entertainment, featuring artists she’s handpicked and groomed herself. In her own words from “Formation”: “Sometimes I go off, I go hard / Get what's mine, I'm a star / ’Cause I slay.” All we can do is nod and dance along.

Photo: MTV

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

[Arts/Entertainment]
Actress/Producer/Writer
Children: Dashiell, 14, Roman, 11, Ignatius, 8, Edith, 1
During her amazing career thus far, this two-time Oscar winner (and seven-time nominee) has also earned almost every other acting accolade imaginable while raising four kids. Cate is easily one of the great actors of our time. She’s portrayed the likes of Elizabeth I, Katherine Hepburn and Bob Dylan, as well as complicated women of mettle who struggle with mental illness (Blue Jasmine) and balance formidable strength to be who they really are in spite of the times (Carol), equally convincingly. To balance the demands of raising children with her art, she’s grown increasingly choosy about what she takes on. “[Children] force you to be economical. To choose your roles wisely and then shrug them off as soon as you’re done,” she told The Guardian. When asked how she juggles demanding roles with parenting, she retorts, “Now, I might be wrong, but I don’t think they put the same question to male actors, do they?” No, they don’t Cate. But we agree they should.

Photo: google.com

Viola Davis

Viola Davis *

[Arts/Entertainment]
Actress/Producer
Children: Genesis, 5
She’s been long respected and revered by her professional peers for an outstanding body of powerful acting performances. And the Juilliard-trained Viola has been racking up some serious prizes to show for it: two Tonys, a SAG award (and Oscar and Golden Globe nods) for her lead role in 2011’s The Help and in 2015, the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her juicy role as Annalise on How to Get Away with Murder—the first African American woman, as well as the first black woman of any nationality, to win it. Viola uses most every acceptance speech and other platforms to stump for the advancement of women of color in hers and other industries. Mind you, though, this serious actor isn’t without a sense of humor. She posted an adorable picture of her daughter dressed up as her—complete with mock Emmy—for Halloween. This year, she’s starring in the film of August Wilson’s Fences—in the role for which she earned a Tony—along with the film’s director, Denzel Washington. Admitted fans that we are, we’re beyond excited to see how that turns out.

Photo: Graeme Mitchell for The New York Times

Cecile Frot-Coutaz

Cecile Frot-Coutaz *

[Arts/Entertainment]
CEO, FremantleMedia Group
Children: Two
Though American Idol just ended, Cecile, the CEO of FremantleMedia Group (the global company that produced it), is still in charge of America’s Got Talent, The X Factor USA and every version of these shows around the world, along with other shows like Family Feud. Her award-winning international production company has earned BAFTAs, NAACP Image Awards and Daytime Emmys, galore. Cecile herself has garnered NATPE Content First’s 9th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, among many other accolades that line her mantle. Once this French-born workmom took the worldwide helm of FremantleMedia in 2012 (after running the North American division), she set about preparing the business for future growth, developing a digital strategy and investing in scripted programming. In 2014, she was awarded a Medaille d’Honneur for her significant contribution to TV and the development of the international entertainment community. She’s known in Hollywood as the queen of reality TV, and Simon Cowell once described Cecile as “a combination of a kitten and a shark.” Sounds intriguing.

Photo: Stuart Dredge

Donna Langley

Donna Langley

[Arts/Entertainment]
Chairman, Universal Pictures
Children: Two sons, 7 and 5
Recently named Women in Entertainment Executive of the Year by The Hollywood Reporter, Donna is the decision-maker behind Universal Pictures’ $6.7 billion box office boon last year. She’s been the force behind such films as Fast & Furious 7, Jurassic World, Pitch Perfect 2, Trainwreck, Straight Outta Compton and Minions, and she’s now added worldwide marketing and overseas production onto her already full plate. Even with all that responsibility, she and her husband still manage to alternate school drop-offs and pick-ups, according to the Hollywood Reporter. What’s next for Donna? There will be more of Jason Bourne to drool at, there will be another Furious sequel, more Jurassic Park, two more Fifty Shades movies to raise our collective pulses and, for our children, more Minions to laugh at. We’re all sure to buy tickets and scarf down popcorn.

Photo: Universal Pictures

Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy

[Arts/Entertainment]
Actress/Producer/Writer/Fashion Designer
Children: Vivian, 9, Georgette, 6
We’re impressed that Melissa dominates both big and small screens with her zany comedic commitment and down-to-earth delivery. The Emmy winner (Mike and Molly) and Oscar nominee (Bridesmaids) counts her latest film, The Boss, as the fifth $20 million opening film she's headlined in the past three years (it earned more than $20 million in following weekends too). Melissa doesn’t just carry films—she writes and produces them with husband Ben Falcone as well. Though her CBS series Mike and Molly was just cancelled, she has plenty more to do: There’s another film with Ben called Life of the Party; she’ll star and he’ll direct. She’s also branched out into the world of fashion, designing a size 4 through 28 collection called Seven7—something she’s wanted to do since grade school. Fierce as an actor, producer and designer, Melissa said in a Working Mother Q&A that she’s also a fiercely protective mom: “I’m very mama bearish, and Ben always says, “Oh God, please don’t let an older kid say something to our girls and you hear it.” I do fear scaling a fence, and being like, “What?!” Which I know would be terrible. My girls have to learn to speak for themselves, but I’d be slightly horrified to see what I would do.”

Photo: Ben Watts

Jill Soloway

Jill Soloway

[Arts/Entertainment]
Showrunner/Writer/Producer/Playwright/Director
Children: Isaac, 19, Felix, 7
Transparent, Jill’s groundbreaking Amazon show based on her father’s transition into motherhood, stole award after award in 2015, earning tons of nominations and Best Actor awards this year for Jeffrey Tambor’s sensitive lead performance. A writer and director of TV shows like Six Feet Under and United States of Tara, it wasn’t until Jill mined her own life for a plot that true success came her way. And sometimes, art imitates life—she recently came out after announcing she was dating Eileen Myles, a famous poet who appeared on the show. What’s she doing as an encore? Amazon ordered I Love Dick, a pilot from Jill based on a novel about a couple who falls for the same college professor. In an interview with The New Yorker, she likened her job to being a good mom: “Kids come home from school, want to put on a play in the back yard. You help them build a stage; you make sure they take breaks, have a snack.” Either on set or at home, a good showrunner always knows just how to get her cast to deliver.

Photo: Rex Features

Carrie Underwood *

Carrie Underwood *

[Arts/Entertainment]
Musician
Children: Son, Isaiah, 1
This powerhouse vocalist went from sweet Oklahoma country girl to heart-stealing American Idol winner to the first artist in country music history to have all six of her records top the charts the first week they were released. With a net worth of $20 million (according to Forbes), Carrie’s earned more than every American Idol alum combined. Of raising her first child with hockey player Mike Fisher, this Tennessee-based, newly indoctrinated workmom says the guilt working moms feel couldn’t be more real. “You feel guilty about every single thing, every decision you make, everything you do,” she told People. So what’s she up to, aside from dominating the charts? Currently on the road on her Storyteller tour, she’s about to team up with Keith Urban for the Australian leg of her tour. Oh, and she’s also the new face of Almay cosmetics. Makes sense, as she's made working motherhood look flawless so far.

Photo: google.com

Dana Walden

Dana Walden

[Arts/Entertainment]
Co-Chairman/CEO, Fox Television Group: 20th Century Fox Television, FOX Broadcasting Company
Children: Aliza, 16, Casey, 13
Since her promotion to co-chair and CEO of Fox Television Group in 2014, Dana’s become one of the most powerful women in television, responsible for overseeing a billion-dollar portfolio. Along with 15-year professional partner Gary Newman, she launched the behemoth Fox hit that is Empire and raised multiplatform audience ratings and shares while producing and overseeing hits on competing networks like Modern Family (ABC), American Horror Story (FX) and Homeland (Showtime). Both she and Gary were recently honored with the 2016 National Champions for Children Award from the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the event raised $1.5 million for the nonprofit. At the dinner, Dana talked about how, through the work she does with the Alliance, she saw children reunite with family members or remain with their siblings instead of being placed in group homes: “If you are born into a family and lucky enough to have parents who are there for you, and not have to deal with the struggles of so many children in our city and in our country that have such obstacles, you really come away feeling blessed and feeling grateful that there is an organization that will help these beautiful young people.” Way to pay it forward!

Photo: Dennis Roy Coronel/C-Suite Quarterly

Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington

[Arts/Entertainment]
Actress/Activist
Children: Isabelle, 2, expecting her second
She plays White House fixer and DC power woman Olivia Pope on the hit TV show, Scandal, keeping us glued to our small screens week after week. And the versatile actor recently starred as women’s rights warrior Anita Hill in the HBO film Confirmation, a challenging role that explores what a lack of power feels like. Now it’s been announced that Kerry has inked an overall deal with ABC Studios and ABC Signature for her recently launched production company, Simpson Street, which launched Confirmation. But Kerry’s gusto extends well beyond the parameters of a camera shot. Last year at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards she won the Vanguard Award for promoting equality, and was the 2014 Ambassador for the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse, an organization that empowers domestic violence and financial abuse survivors. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities in 2009 and is a member of the V-Counsel, a group of advisers to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. She recently told Elle that her Scandal role prepared her well for real-life motherhood: “Even though Olivia Pope has obviously made the decision that she is not a mom, playing her made me feel like I could be a mom. Because she knows there's always another way—there's always a way to fix it, there's always a way to solve it, to win. And I feel like playing her made me feel like, All right, I can do it. I will figure out how to juggle it all.” Maybe that feeling is why we love them both so much.

Photo: bet.com

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

[Arts/Entertainment]
Actress/Producer/Entrepreneur
Children: Ava, 16, Deacon, 12, Tennessee, 3
This multitalented Oscar-winning workmom is also (like most of us) a formidable multitasker. Her production company, Pacific Standard (with partner Bruna Papandrea), currently has 30 projects in development (25 movies, five television shows), according to The Hollywood Reporter. What’s more, every one of them is or will be female-led in an industry that still has huge pay and employment gender gaps. “I want to get a female perspective on film that would make my daughter [Ava] understand what it means to be a woman in a different way,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. Up soon: a biopic about Barbie doll creator Ruth Handler, based on the biography, Barbie and Ruth, by Robin Gerber. Also in the works is growing her decidedly Southern home and clothing line, Draper James. Guess there are never enough hours in the day when you’re self-admittedly Type A. But her kids are always a priority, Reese said in a Working Mother Q&A: While her older kids are very aware of her work, “at the end of the day…they want me to be there to talk to them, listen to what they've been doing, help them with their homework…” and all that mom stuff.

Photo: Google.com

Yao Chen

Yao Chen

[Arts/Entertainment]
Actress/Philanthropist
Children: One son
Commonly known as “China’s answer to Angelina Jolie,” Chen isn’t just a pretty thing who posed for the Pirelli calendar last year. The actor is as known for her philanthropy and championship of refugees as she is for her roles in Chinese film and television. An official UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in China, she uses her tremendous influence on social media (78 million followers on Weibo—the Chinese Twitter) to bring awareness to the injustices in the world during her many travels to help refugees. She told The Cut that she posts everything herself—after weighing her words carefully. “I don't want to act too emotionally or too impulsively, because what you write can be read as a public expression of opinion or lead the public. In a few days, you could see another side [of the event], so it’s better to be initially more objective and fair,” she said of her posts. Recently, Chen was awarded a Davos Crystal Award and cited as a “young global leader” at the World Economic Forum (along with Leonardo DiCaprio), acknowledging her as an artist who shows a serious commitment to improving the state of the world. Talk about using your power for good!

Photo: google.com

Emmanuelle Alt

Emmanuelle Alt

[Fashion/Tastemakers]
Editor-In-Chief, Vogue Paris
Children: Antonin, 19, Françoise, 12
Emmanuelle’s creative vision as Vogue Paris editrix sets trends around the world, but she firmly refuses to follow them herself. In fact, this daughter of a ’60s fashion model is refreshingly anti-trend, adhering to an ultra chic/casual uniform of blazer, t-shirt, jeans and heels whether she’s in the office, at Fashion Week or attending a fancy industry party. Working her way up the editorial ladder since babysitting for an editor at French Elle, she was a stylist and consultant for Isabel Marant and Balmain before joining Vogue Paris as editor. Emmanuelle’s known as a champion of lesser-known designers and believes in the importance of developing your own signature style. “Mostly I’ve always wanted women to feel comfortable in their own skin,” she told fashion blogger Garance Doré, adding she’s long given up borrowing clothes from designers, dressing up for galas and scouring thrift shops for hidden gems. Instead, she occasionally trolls boutiques for cool, unique items on vacations. “It’s more for my children now,” she added. Most workmoms can totally relate.

Photo: le21eme.com

Delphine Arnault

Delphine Arnault *

[Fashion/Tastemakers]
Director and Executive Vice President, Louis Vuitton
Children: Elisa, 4
The daughter of Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of luxury conglomerate LVMH, Delphine was groomed to dominate the world of fashion, with degrees from EDHEC Business School and the London School of Economics. But now that she’s in charge or the company, Delphine is putting her own stamp on things. She recently acquired a minority stake in Paris-based jewelry brand, Repossi—an investment similar to their stake in Italian design brand Marco de Vincenzo, haute shoe purveyor Nicholas Kirkwood and Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson’s London-based label—adding fresh design sensibility to their already robust heritage portfolio of brands like Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Celine, Marc Jacobs and Kenzo. Famously allergic to the spotlight, Delphine did let her affection for her newborn daughter show in a Wall Street Journal write-up: “It’s really been a revolution—an extraordinary thing. The greatest happiness in my life!"

Photo: youtube.com

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

[Fashion/Tastemakers]
Fashion Designer/Singer
Children: Brooklyn, 17, Romeo, 13, Cruz, 11, Harper, 4
Talk about a mother of reinvention: Victoria went from Spice Girl to soccer wife to well-respected fashion designer with hard work, grace and panache. Though she’s untrained as a designer, it hasn’t stopped this hands-on fashion mogul from building a serious and respected business over the past eight years. She made more money than her famous soccer player husband last year, earning £34 million in 2015, according to The Telegraph UK. A Womenswear Designer of the Year nomination at the British Fashion Awards cemented her status as a top-tier contender in the industry. Honored as one of Glamour’s Women of the Year in 2015, Victoria was presented by her son Brooklyn with an award for the brand she’s built and her impressive work as an international goodwill ambassador for UNAIDS. She has raised millions for the organization to benefit HIV and AIDS charities, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Mothers 2 Mothers and amfAR. She told Good Morning America: “When I was invited to be a UNAIDS Global Goodwill Ambassador, it was a huge honor and something that meant an enormous amount to me … I’m spending a lot of time in Africa working closely with the UN, speaking on behalf of the incredible women that I’m working with. It took me until 40 years old to realize I have a powerful voice and people will listen to what I have to say.”

Photo: Google.com

Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely

[Fashion/Tastemakers] Founder and CEO, Spanx
Children: Three
This self-made billionaire workmom is a constant on our list for pulling herself up by her bootstraps and building a formidable career with ingenuity, gumption and determination. Once a door-to-door fax machine salesperson, Sara says her billion-dollar idea came from a desire to do away with VPL (visible panty lines) once and for all. After devoting countless hours to research and development, she got to work, wearing down manufacturers until one caved. Once Oprah touted Spanx as one of her favorite things, well, you know the rest. Sara just recently returned to head her company, after the departure of two-year CEO Jan Singer. She also manages The Sara Blakely Foundation, dedicated to supporting female entrepreneurship and is co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks. When asked by Success magazine how she does it all, Sara says she “buckets” her life, scheduling what needs to be done, so she can focus on one thing that needs her attention at a time: “Because layering becoming a mom, which is a full-time job, on top of another full-time job, there is no manual, and it takes a lot of attention to prioritizing what you want to delegate, what you’re willing to let go of and how you want to spend your time.”

Photo: google.com

Tory Burch

Tory Burch

[Fashion/Tastemakers]
Designer and Founder, Tory Burch/Activist
Children: Nick and Henry, 18, Sawyer, 15
Tory’s popular clothing brand is doing better than ever, with a valuation (according to Forbes) of $3 billion. Having translated a degree in art history into a career in PR into a hugely successful fashion brand, Tory is always expanding her reach, business-wise, with the recent launch of an athleisure line, watches in partnership with Fossil, and an overseas fragrance and cosmetics launch overseas. She also gives back. Elizabeth Street Capital, a joint venture between the Tory Burch Foundation and the Bank of America, gives budding female entrepreneurs the low-cost capital they need to grow their businesses. She selected her first class of Tory Burch Foundation Fellows, giving 10 business owners her mentorship, networking opportunities and a $10,000 grant. When asked by The New York Times how she juggles motherhood with the demands of her company, Tory said she tries to power-down for dinner every night she can: “My children come first. The business is everything after that. But I don’t feel guilty when I’m at work. There are certain times when I’m here and I would prefer to be there. I usually leave the office about 7 and go home and try to have dinner with the boys. You learn a lot over family dinners. It’s good to pay attention.” Sure is.

Photo: wikipedia.org

Cathy Engelbert

Cathy Engelbert *

[Finance/Business]
CEO, Deloitte
Children: Julia, 18, Tommy, 15
The first woman to be named CEO of the largest professional services firm in the nation, this 30-year Deloitte veteran is in charge of $14.9 billion in revenue and 70,000 employees. What’s more, she plans to hire 25,000 more by the end of this year—lucky hires-to-be, as Deloitte is a longtime Working Mother Best Company. Cathy has said she’s dealt with many companies that lack the strong commitment to women shown by Deloitte, stressing that it’s important for both men and women be honest about the time they take for their families in order to set a better precedent. “Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy and don’t think we can raise our hand and ask for flexibility and predictability,” she told Fortune. “We have clients that need to be served, but they’re looking to us to be role models and leaders, and that’s one thing I found in my career. Even clients were looking to see how I balanced it all, so I became more cognizant and made sure they knew when I was leaving. I coached my daughter’s basketball team for four years, for instance, and I was not shy about it. I said when I was leaving for a practice or a game, and they respected that and used to come and say, ‘I’m so glad you were honest with us because I didn’t think I could leave for my daughter’s dance recital, and now I know I can.’” We hope more leaders will learn from her example.

Photo: google.com

Mary Callahan Erdoes

Mary Callahan Erdoes

[Finance/Business]
CEO Asset Management, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Children: Three
American Banker named her Most Powerful Woman in Finance three years in a row and it’s no surprise—Mary’s one of two women on JPMorgan's 12-person operating committee, having led her team to $12 billion in revenue in 2014, up from $11.4 billion in 2013. A true leader, Mary uses her power to paying her success forward with Women on the Move, a program she co-created to nurture female talent at her firm, and with ReEntry, a program for women who have taken breaks from asset management back into the fold. She also sponsors an LGBT pride group. She told American Banker she does these things because she’s determined to do her part to create an equal-opportunity workplace culture: “You want people to tell you the truth and what needs to be changed so that you can take action and make where you are a better place to work.” These are efforts we applaud loudly.

Photo: google.com

Jane Fraser

Jane Fraser

[Finance/Business]
CEO, Citibank, Latin America
Children: Two sons
Earlier in her career, Jane struggled with work life balance during her time at Goldman Sachs, opting to consult at McKinsey part-time for a while so she could spend more time with her kids. Today, this powerful workmom has moved from one powerful job to another, leaving her role as chief executive of Citi's consumer and commercial banking operations to become CEO of Citibank’s Latin America operations. High atop her to-do list is to bring the American version of Citibank culture to Banamex, which is currently being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department for money-laundering. Reportedly, compliance with U.S. anti-money-laundering laws has been an ongoing issue to contend with in the region, so how will she cope? “My plan is to be myself,” she told American Banker, which lauded her as the No. 1 woman to watch for both 2014 and 2015. “There's no point in trying to out-machismo the men in senior management. I can also be feminine, though, and I'll use that as a strength.”

Photo: google.com

Adena Friedman

Adena Friedman *

[Finance/Business]
COO, NASDAQ OMX Group
Children: Two
Brand new to our list, Adena has been climbing the rungs at Nasdaq for many years—starting as intern and ascending to COO as of late last year. She now runs the day-to-day operations of the $9.5 billion company. But it wasn’t without a brief time out: In 2011, she left her CFO post for a bit to serve as the CFO and managing director of The Carlyle Group. She eventually returned to Nasdaq as president, launching the Nasdaq Futures market and bringing in a blockchain service for post-trading and settlement of privately-held shares. Some say her recent promotion to COO will position her perfectly to eventually become CEO, since current CEO Robert Greifeld is expected to exit the company when his contract ends next year. When asked by Fox Business what her biggest piece of advice is to other working moms, she advised us all to spare ourselves the guilt: “I really believe that I’ve been a better parent from being a working mother. And so I wish I hadn’t been burdened with that amount of guilt for so long. I wish someone had said, ‘It’s okay.’ It’s a matter of prioritizing your time so that outside of work you are there for the important things.” Words any workmom can live by.

Photo: google.com

Abigail Johnson

Abigail Johnson

[Finance/Business]
CEO, Fidelity Investments
Children: Two
When the family business is money, diligence and persistence are the name of the game. Abigail worked her way up the ladder for 26 years (earning a Harvard MBA along the way) to replace her father, Edward “Ned” Johnson, III, as CEO of Fidelity in 2014, becoming the third Johnson to lead the company. (Her grandfather founded Fidelity back in 1946.) Fidelity is the country’s second-largest mutual fund company, counting $2 trillion in assets under management. Abigail holds an estimated 24 percent stake in the company and has an estimated $11.6 billion fortune, making her the richest person in the Boston area, according to The Boston Globe. Still, the suburban Boston mom reportedly supports her kids from the bleachers like so many of us. Taking Fidelity into the future, she’s focused on building millennial and female business and exploring more interactive tech solutions. The fiercely private workmom also pays it forward as an active donor to local Boston area charities like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, public radio and TV station WGBH, and the Pine Street Inn homeless shelter. Just don’t look for a photo-op of her in action.

Photo: Fidelity

Jean Liu

Jean Liu *

[Finance/Business]
Co-founder and President, Didi Kuaidi
Children: Three
Cited as one of Fortune’s 40-Under-40, Jean was born to innovate, wheel and deal. The former Goldman Sachs regional director started Didi Kuaidi, otherwise known as “China’s Uber,” via a merger. She formed the company to fill a void—there’s a taxi shortage in China, public transportation is overcrowded, and driving is very difficult due to traffic. Her solution? A single app that hits consumers who need transportation at every angle. If you need a ride, there’s an app to connect you with a driver. There’s a private car service available for those who prefer that. Want to make money driving others around? Join her chauffeur business. Want to take a bus? She’s got a bus-line service, too. Empowered by a partnership with Lyft, Didi Kuaidi’s value has reportedly escalated to more than $16 billion, helping 200 million people to hail a taxi or car online, according to the Wall Street Journal. So how does this incredibly busy working mom run a huge start-up while raising three little kids? She may not see them as much as she’d like, Jean told China Daily, but she always buys little gifts to bring them from her travels. “I always manage to find ways to connect with them,” she said. If she can use technology to connect millions of people in China with rides, we have all faith that she’ll find cool ways to use it to hang with her kids too.

Photo: google.com

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus

[Finance/Business]
Chairman, Louis-Dreyfus Holdings
Children: Eric, 23, twins Kyril and Mauric, 18, twin girls, newborn
Running the behemoth enterprise that is Louis Dreyfus Commodities in more than 90 countries—trading in as wide a variety of industries as coffee, fruit juice and grains and metals, marine transport and fertilizers—is no easy feat. Yet, billionaire Margarita pulls it all off with panache. Considered one of the wealthiest women in the world, she met her late husband, Robert, when they sat next to each other on a plane. Many years and three kids later, after he became sick with leukemia and passed away 2009, she took over the company, maintaining a foundation in Robert’s memory that supports sustainable agriculture and food security to help small farmers in developing countries. As owner of French soccer team Olympique de Marseille, she can now add “ultimate soccer mom” to her already formidable resume. Plus, she’s just started over personally, giving birth to twin girls just this past March. Beautiful!

Photo: google.com

Carolyn McCall

Carolyn McCall *

[Finance/Business]
CEO, easyJet
Children: Three
When you fly as much as Carolyn does, you look forward to what she calls “hangar days”—those she spends in her company’s home office. That’s when she makes it home for dinner at 6 p.m. to do homework with her kids, do a little work after they go to bed, and retire herself at a decent hour. Carolyn’s a trained marketer with a heavy publishing background. She launched Wired in the UK as a joint venture that was part of Guardian Media Group. She then launched The Guardian’s website in 1999, before the merger of The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, becoming CEO in 2006. She joined British airline easyJet as CEO in 2010, growing the company’s annual passenger count to 70 million. The innovative airline is now testing a zero-emissions hybrid plane that could potentially produce drinking water as a waste product of hydrogen fuel cells. Meanwhile, Carolyn advocates for working mothers. During a speech at the Omniwomen UK Leadership Summit in March, she explained: “It’s proven that women get to a stage where they’d rather work for themselves instead of a corporate structure that they find exhausting, as they have to negotiate and navigate to get what they want.” To change that, she’s made sure her company offers, among other things, job sharing and four-day workweeks to retain female talent. If only more CEOs were like Carolyn.

Photo: google.com

Julie Sweet

Julie Sweet *

[Finance/Business]
CEO - North America, Accenture
Children: Chloe, 8, Abby, 7
Some women don’t just promote gender parity—they build it. As CEO - North America of Accenture since last year, Julie has made a public commitment to build a diverse global workforce by vowing to grow the company’s percentage of new female hires to at least 40 percent and offer compelling benefits like flextime and a 16-week maternity leave. Julie rose to her current spot after serving as general counsel and chief compliance officer at Accenture. Before that she was a corporate partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore for a decade, representing underwriters, private equity funds and corporate clients in public and private financings, advising on mergers and acquisitions, and providing general corporate counsel. A member of the Executive Committee of the Business Roundtable, Julie also serves on the board of directors of the National Center for Children and Families and on the board of directors of the Bipartisan Policy Center. So how does this busy legal eagle maintain a work and life equilibrium? By occasionally working from home and video calling her kids constantly from the road, she told Who’s Who in Legal. Just like a lot of us.

Photo: google.com

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump *

[Finance/Business]
Executive VP, Trump Organization
Children: Arabella, 4, Joseph, 2, Theodore, newborn
A master deal-maker, taste-maker and now possible president-maker, this third-generation developer leads some of the highest profile deals of her father’s (and grandfather’s) real-estate empire, including a recent $250 million renovation of the Doral Golf Resort in Miami—not to mention the Trump Hotel Collection she founded with brothers Eric and Donald Jr. But her biggest role to date is that of advisor to dad Donald’s highly successful presidential campaign, noting that they speak as often as five times a day. Her savvy, combined with her comfort in speaking publicly on behalf of her dad (who has had more than his share of run-ins with women), has her tagged as her dad’s surrogate political spouse in lieu of his more reserved wife, Melania. In an interview with the New York Times, she said: “People ask me from a gender perspective, ‘He said this and this about women,’ and I’ve said, ‘Have you looked at the things he’s said about men? Why would our gender be treated differently?’” And yet, for this super-busy mom of three, business, politics and family are but three of her interests. In 2007, she launched a jewelry collection, which has grown into a full eponymous brand featuring shoes, handbags, apparel and accessories. Welcome to our power mom list, Ivanka.

Photo: Courtesy of Ivanka Trump

Zhang Xin

Zhang Xin

[Finance/Business]
Co-founder and CEO, SOHO China
Children: Two sons
This self-made multibillionaire, described by CNN as “the woman behind the Bejing skyline,” is said to be richer than the richest people in America. Yet she started off incredibly poor, working long hours for little money as a young teenager at a Hong Kong textiles factory. A great student, Xin was accepted into Cambridge University on scholarship and left for England, knowing no English. Her scrappy work ethic translated into a job at Goldman Sachs. She eventually returning to her native China, where she met husband and future business partner Pan Shiyi. Together they formed SOHO—now the largest real estate developer in China. As she once benefitted from a scholarship, Xin felt passionate about setting up a scholarship fund for Chinese students and set up SOHO China Scholars—a fund that will provide $100 million of financial aid to Chinese students so they can attend the universities of their dreams. When Christiane Amanpour asked her what business advice she’d give to others, she smiled and said, “When there’s opportunity, go for it!” Simple, but brilliant.

Photo: google.com

Carolyn Everson

Carolyn Everson

[Media/Marketing/Advertising]
VP of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook/Instagram
Children: Taylor and Kennedy, 14
Facebook and Instagram have become indispensable communication tools for marketers and civilians alike, serving more than a billion users every day. Carolyn manages brand relationships for these global aps, overseeing a team of regional leaders and the teams focused on global partnerships, global agencies and Facebook’s own in-house Creative Shop. A member of the AdWeek 50 since 2013, Carolyn also topped Business Insider’s Most Powerful Women in Advertising list in 2015. She came from Microsoft, where she was corporate vice president of Global Advertising, Sales and Trade Marketing Teams. In a recent Huffington Post video interview at Davos, Carolyn shared a compelling approach Facebook staffers have to promote balance—and prevent burn-out: “All 1,400 of my team members around the world write annual visions (to share with their managers) and write them backward looking, as if it’s the end of the year the following year. The first part of every one-on-one with a manager is checking in on how people are doing with their vision. It’s a very different way of bringing a human approach into the workforce, and I believe when you do that, you’re going to create people who feel empowered more in control in work as well of outside of work, and you can retain and have a happier workforce.”

Photo: facebook.com

Leslie Sims

Leslie Sims *

[Media/Marketing/Advertising]
Chief Creative Officer, Y&R New York
Children: Two
Leslie Sims is one of the rare female chief creative officers in advertising, overseeing creative for huge clients like Land Rover, Dell, Campbell Soup, Xerox, Special Olympics and Partnership for a Healthier America. Recently named one of Advertising Women of New York’s (AWNY) Working Mothers of the Year, she’s also been lauded as a top 10 Chief Creative Officer in the U.S. in Adweek’s Creative 100, a top 36 Most Creative Women in Advertising by Business Insider, and one of iMedia’s Top 25 Marketing Leaders and Innovators. She began her upward career trajectory at McCann as a copywriter, ascending to executive vice president/executive creative director over the span of 12 years. When honored by AWNY, Leslie said motherhood helps her keep work issues in perspective: ”I have a constant reminder that whatever five-alarm fire is going on at work, it's just work.” Way to keep work stress in check.

Photo: adcglobal.org

Lorraine Twohill

Lorraine Twohill *

[Media/Marketing/Advertising]
SVP of Global Marketing, Google
Children: Two
Powerful workmom Lorraine has been with Google more than 12 years, promoted to her current position after overseeing marketing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As Google's savvy marketing leader, Lorraine has shied away from traditional ads, choosing instead to launch Google's first flagship smartphone with "Parisian Love," a YouTube video celebrating search that debuted during the Super Bowl in her first year. Lorraine launched Google’s in-house agency, Creative Lab, which has worked on campaigns for its new products. Now she manages a true behemoth—according to Statista, Google's ad revenue rose to almost $67 billion in 2015, a number soaring upward from the $59+ billion the year before. When asked by Fast Company how she transitions from work mode to kid mode, she touted the benefits of SoulCycle after work on Fridays: “It’s a cleansing ritual. It makes me feel like I have earned my glass of wine. And when I walk into my home, I’m done. The kids take over, giving you hugs and telling you about their day. It’s family time. Kids are the best way of balancing your life.” We wholeheartedly agree.

Photo: google.com

Susan Wojcicki

Susan Wojcicki

[Media/Marketing/Advertising]
CEO, YouTube
Children: Five
As CEO of YouTube, arguably the most powerful media platform out there, Susan envisioned its overwhelming success early on—she helped Google purchase YouTube back in 2006. She’s also the visionary that helped launch Google by renting her garage to two the two Ph.D. students who invented it. Today, YouTube counts over a billion unique visitors per month. Though Susan’s commitment to her five children (she drives home for dinner most nights) is well-documented, she’s not terribly fond of questions about work life balance during interviews about her job, quite simply because men don’t get asked those questions. She is, however, a formidable advocate for the rights of working moms, penning a powerful Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal, in which she explained why paid maternity leave is essential: “I know from experience that being a mother gave me a broader sense of purpose, more compassion and a better ability to prioritize and get things done efficiently. It also helped me understand the specific needs and concerns of mothers, who make most household spending decisions and control more than $2 trillion of purchasing power in the U.S.” Yep.

Photo: google.com

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates

[Philanthropy]
Co-Founder and Co-Chair, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation/Businesswoman
Children: Jennifer, 19, Rory, 17, Phoebe, 14
Though she’s likely the wealthiest American woman on our list—she shares an estimated $89.4 billion with her husband, Bill—Melinda uses her financial muscle and her power to better our world. And has thus earned our deep esteem. As co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she gives tons of money to World Health Organization and UNICEF and travels the world to develop immunization programs to abolish diseases like polio in third world countries. Along with fellow Most Powerful Mom Chelsea Clinton and her mom Hillary, Melinda has funded the research behind No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, a data-driven analysis of gender equality designed to level the playing field between genders by improving rights for women around the world. Though a Catholic, Melinda advocates to make contraception available for women, telling Fortune it’s “too important to let it be a politicized issue.” With respect to the work life juggle, she told Quartz that daughter Jennifer is already concerned about how her work will impact her ability to spend time with her family. Here’s hoping that by the time it’s her turn to try, her mom’s and other’s good work will have made it possible.

Photo: google.com

Queen Rania Al Abdullah

Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Jordan

[Politics]
Monarch/Human Rights Activist/Author
Children: Hussein bin Al Abdullah, Crown Prince of Jordan, 21, Princess Iman bint Abdullah, 19, Princess Salma bint Abdullah, 15, Prince Hashem bin Al-Abdullah, 11
Queen Rania is the perfect example of an eloquent leader who is completely dedicated to improving the world around her. A former Apple employee of Palestinian descent, she’s spent most of this year advocating for Syrian refugees, with her own country, Jordan, opening its arms to 1.4 million of them. She recently shared her unique perspective on the matter with CNN: “It is frustrating for someone like me in a neighboring country who’s seen what’s been happening in Syria for the past four years. We are where we are today because of a failure of international diplomacy to push through a political transition in Syria. Different countries have competing interests and agendas and as a result, people see an intractable political situation. They see crazed terrorists running around. This vacuum of sovereignty has turned Syria into a terrorism incubator. That is dangerous—not just for Syria, not just for the region, but for the rest of the world.” An Eminent Advocate for UNICEF and Honorary Chairperson for UNGEI, she works tirelessly to help children’s causes. We applaud her continuous efforts to bridge the distance between cultures to promote peace and understanding.

Photo: google.com

Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton *

[Politics]
Vice-Chair, Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
Children: Charlotte, 19 months, expecting her second
Who can deny that Chelsea was born into American political royalty (she may very well be the first person to have both parents become President of the United States)? No matter, she’s always worked hard for her tremendous accomplishments. Educated at both Stanford and Oxford, she began her career at McKinsey & Company and on Wall Street, as an analyst at Avenue Capital Group. Spiritually weary of that hustle, she went back to school for a masters in public health and today serves as vice-chair of the Clinton Foundation, which works on health, women's, children's and environmental causes worldwide. In 2014, Chelsea's efforts toward women’s rights earned her a Glamour Woman of the Year award. After becoming a mom, she penned the book, It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! to inspire tweens and teens to advocate for causes they care about. Recently, she released “No Ceilings: The Full Participation Report” with mom Hillary Clinton and fellow Most Powerful Mom Melinda Gates, which calls for global gender equality. She’s now expecting baby No. 2 with husband Marc Mezvinsky while supporting of her mother’s presidential campaign. When asked by Elle how motherhood changed her life, she replied: “My whole life is reoriented around my daughter in the most blessed sense. I now understand—this is something else that [my husband] Marc and I talk about all the time—all of the enthusiastic, bombastically spectacular, wonderful things people say about their children.” Been there, done that!

Photo: google.com

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

[Politics]
U.S. Senator, New York (D)
Children: Theodore, 12, Henry, 7
Senator Gillibrand has worked hard to create laws that protect women. For example: The Campus Accountability and Safety Act is deisgned to help protect students from rape, while the Military Justice Improvement Act aims to protect women from sexual assault. Her New York Times best-selling book, Off the Sidelines: Speak Up, Be Fearless and Change Your World (with its forward penned by former Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton) advises women on how to advocate for their seat at the table, be it the C-suite or the PTA. In a recent interview with Lenny (Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s feminist newsletter of note) she describes the juggle that awaits her at the end of a workday: “Somewhere around 5, I leave and I go pick up the kids, and I bring them home and I make them dinner. My husband will appear home usually around 6 or 6:30. And if we can have dinner together, we all have dinner together. Then I have to get the kids to a baseball practice or a soccer practice. And sometimes there's two in one night, so I sort that out. Then if I have to go back to work for votes or back to work for an event, I'll do that, and I'll get a babysitter to replace me at 6:30. If I get to stay home and don't have to work, I pretty much go to bed after the kids do, so I'm in bed by 9, 9:30. Maybe I'll read a book for half an hour then fall asleep. But that's my day.” Curiously, it sounds just like ours.

Photo: google.com

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley

[Politics]
Governor of South Carolina (R)
Children: Rena, 17, Nalin, 14
Governor Haley earned tons of cool points in our book this year for the graceful way she handled the various challenges that faced her state. Born to Sikh immigrants from Punjab, India, she served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2010 before being elected to lead the state. Just this year, she demanded removal of the Confederate Flag over the state house and she sought to unite her constituency after nine people were tragically shot to death in a historic black church in Charleston. Listed on the Time 100, she helped her residents survive a 1,000-year flood and fought tooth-and-nail to keep harmful plutonium shipments out of her state. She even diffused Donald Trump’s Twitter ire with the ever-graceful, classic Southern retort of “Bless your heart,” which we all know is Southern for something a little less polite. All this said, we respect and appreciate Nikki more than ever.

Photo: google.com

Federica Mogherini

Federica Mogherini *

[Politics]
Foreign Minister of Italy/Chief, European Union Foreign Affairs
Children: Caterina, 11, Marta, 6
Federica earns her spot on our list not only for representing the people of Italy but for the work she does on behalf of 500 million citizens of the European Union, striving to peacefully resolve such huge issues as Iran's nuclear power program, the Ukrainian crisis, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe. Only the third woman to become Italy’s foreign minister, Federica graduated from Rome’s Sapienza University with a degree in political science. She’s represented Italy in the parliamentary assemblies of both NATO and the Council of Europe, and as a fellow at the German Marshall Fund. During a recent speech at the European Culture Forum, she emphasized how Europe’s innate diversity should be unifying—not differentiating: “Cultures can be the place where people meet and make the most out of their diversity. This is the choice we have made when our union was founded. We realized that our culture is Greek and Jewish, Roman and Anglo-Saxon, Christian and Arab, Latin and Slavic, French and German, Mediterranean and Scandinavian, religious and secular. It was not isolation, but openness that made Europe such an incredible place. Exchanges made us richer, not weaker.”

Photo: google.com

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts

[Retail/Manufacturing]
Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores, Apple
Children: Jennings, 20, Sommer, 19, Angelina, 15
With a jaw-dropping total compensation that rings in at about $2.6 million (according to Business Insider), Angela runs the retail experience of Apple—a $20 billion retail operation with 479 Apple stores in 18 countries as well as an online operation available in 39 countries. During her first year, the former CEO of Burberry oversaw the launch of the Apple Watch, the first new Apple product since the iPad. She’s also heavily focused on improving the Apple experience for employees, as well as consumers, instituting a weekly video chat for employees to boost morale and review objectives. She's ramping up operations in China, a burgeoning market for Apple products, and “geniuses” and associates are free to transfer there, to headquarters or any location around the world. She’s also open to ideas from employees. One of these became the new concierge service offered by the Genius Bar, which will send you a text 10 minutes before your appointment instead of requiring you wait onsite. Angela is married to her childhood sweetheart, and according to the Guardian, has said that job aside, her husband and kids come first. She endorses that outlook as an employer as well: “We have a lot of women working here and I always tell them they are mothers first. Those children are their legacy and they have partners and that’s a big obligation.” Amen.

Photo: google.com

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba *

[Retail/Manufacturing]
Co-Founder, The Honest Company/Actress
Children: Honor, 7, Haven, 4
Yes, she’s an actor, but these days this Most Powerful Mom newbie is garnering her biggest attention by building a business on what moms really want for their families: cleaning, childcare and beauty products made without dyes or harmful chemicals. To answer that need, Jessica partnered four years ago with Christopher Gavin to form The Honest Company, now valued at $1.7 billion, which boasts 100 nontoxic product offerings from diapers to wipes to laundry detergent to lipstick. The company is going through some growing pains lately (questions about natural and organic ingredient claims), but such is business. Jessica’s brand gives back, donating nearly 600,000 products as well as more than 2,700 employee volunteer hours. She’s also made working at The Honest Company a great place for parents, offering 16 weeks parental leave to new moms and eight to new dads. “We’re very flexible,” Jessica recently told Working Mother. “If parents feel like they need more time, we’ll work with them. We are investing in the people who work here. The healthier and happier people are, and the more fulfilled they are, the better employees they’re going to be. That’s something I’m really proud of.” And we’re proud of you, Jessica.

Photo: Mike Rosenthal/Tack Artist Group

Rosalind Brewer

Rosalind Brewer

[Retail/Manufacturing]
President & CEO, Sam’s Club
Children: Two
Organic-chemist-turned-CEO Rosalind stays firm on our list for her steadfast and savvy leadership as well as her hard work, strategic thinking, diligence and grace. Roz, who’s also been cited by Fortune as a Most Powerful Women in Business many years in a row (she spoke at the Forbes Women’s Summit last year), has kept Sam’s Club prices competitive and promoted expansion while keeping customer needs in mind. On the board of directors for Lockheed Martin Corporation and chair of the board of trustees for her alma mater, Spelman College, she remains committed to mentoring future female leaders inside and outside of her company. Roz recently spoke candidly to CNN about how she demands diversity on her own team's leadership—and isn't afraid to advocate for it with suppliers, either: “Every now and then you have to nudge your partners and you have to speak up and speak out. I try to use my platform for that, to remind people. I try to set an example.” How we wish more leaders would!

Photo: google.com

Helena Foulkes*

Helena Foulkes

[Retail/Manufacturing]
President, CVS/Pharmacy and EVP, CVS Health
Chiildren: Four
Dubbed “the change agent inside CVS” by Fortune, it’s Helena who transformed the brand from your typical drugstore to what is now the largest healthcare-related company in the country (No. 10 on the Fortune 500), with $139.4 billion in revenue (in 2014) and more than 7,900 pharmacies. The ExtraCare program she instituted counts 70 million active members—and that’s only counting the people who’ve used it in the the past six months. She stopped the chain from selling tobacco at a risk of profit, and is reportedly set to acquire Target’s pharmacy and clinic business. A Harvard MBA, Helena is also a cancer survivor and marathoner—and unafraid to take on challenges, even those of the parenting variety. “I remember when I found out I was having my fourth child, I was like, ‘Oh, no!’” she recently told Fortune. So how does she juggle work and family? “You just take it one day at a time.” Which works on so many levels.

Photo: Google.com

Gisel Ruiz

Gisel Ruiz

[Retail/Manufacturing]
Executive Vice President, International People Division, Walmart
Children: Two
How many people do you know who’ve spent more than 25 years at the same company? Gisel began at Walmart in 1992 as a store management trainee. Now as EVP of Walmart International, she supports more than a million associates in 26 countries outside the United States, driving human resources strategy in an aggressively-growing division with more than 5,600 stores. When asked by More about her core values, she said doing away with guilt is key: “Family comes before anything. For me, that didn’t mean staying home with my then 2-year-old daughter. Iit meant giving myself to her the minute I came home. Second, I’m in control of my calendar. You’d be surprised how much you can get done when you remove the clutter. Finally, I own my decisions. If I decide to go home early to have dinner with my family, I drop the guilt about leaving work. If I decide to work late, I drop the guilt about being away.”

Photo: Courtesy of Wal-Mart

Ann Miura-Ko

Ann Miura-Ko

[Tech/Science]
Co-Founder, Floodgate/Lecturer, Stanford University
Children: Three
Ann always had a penchant for finding a void in the marketplace and filling it. Even in third grade, when her PCjr didn’t have a Japanese font, Ann set about making one. Today she, along with her Floodgate partners, are early backers of the world’s most impactful digital businesses, counting Lyft, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Refinery29, Chloe and Isabel, Maker Media, Wanelo, TaskRabbit and Modcloth among her wise investments. No wonder she’s been called "the most powerful woman in startups" by Forbes. Ann worked at Charles River Ventures and McKinsey and Company prior to Floodgate, and the Stanford Ph.D. still lectures budding entrepreneurs at her old alma mater. How does this busy workmom juggle it all? A few years back, she said to Startup Grind: “Balance implies you get home and everything is quiet and in order and dinner is cooked and kids are really well behaved. Mine aren't and my house is usually a crazy mess and someone's screaming. There's never a moment when you actually feel good about everything. There’s all these articles about can women have it all I don't think men can have it all either, right? It's like there's a partner on the other side who has exactly the same challenges you know. So I just work to try to keep it together and hopefully no one gets hurt in the process—we have a really low baseline.” What a relief—her house sounds just like ours!

Photo: Courtesy Ann Miura-Ko

Theresia Gouw Ranzetta

Theresia Gouw Ranzetta

[Tech/Science]
Partner, Aspect Ventures/Entrepreneur
Children: Two
Powerful working mom Theresia has a firm spot on our list for how she’s overcome gender bias in venture capitalism by using her uncanny instinct to spot future profitable ventures—then paying her good fortune forward by nurturing new talent. Having earned a spot on the Forbes’ Midas List, this savvy entrepreneur co-founded Aspect Ventures after serving as a partner at Accel for 15 years, making early stage investments in mobile technology and now huge companies like Trulia, Birchbox and LearnVest. She also serves as a Fellow on Brown University’s Corporation Board, is vice-chair of DonorsChoose.org and co-teaches a Stanford course on venture capitalism. To nurture new talent closer to her vest, she launched Aspect Labs, a network of entrepreneurs hand-picked to work side-by-side and learn from each other, along with her investment team.

Photo: google.com

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

[Tech/Science]
COO, Facebook/Author/Advocate
Children: Two
Sheryl’s tremendous accomplishments and considerable influence on behalf for working mothers keeps her firmly affixed to our list. Yes, she’s COO of Facebook, but she began the well-known “Lean In” movement and foundation to establish gender equality in the workplace and encourage women to support each other all the way to the C-suite. Though she suffered the tragic loss of her beloved husband a year ago, she spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about the benefits of gender diversity in the workplace, the challenges of bias that women still face and how to get more women into leadership roles. Sheryl also stumps for dads taking a more active role at home: “[Children] do better emotionally, they have stronger relationships with their parents, they do better in school, and they do better professionally. So the reason to work towards equality—if you're a woman or a man—is because it's going to help you.” As co-chair of the Stand Up for Kids campaign, Sheryl recently announced her goal to raise $7 million to end childhood hunger. "My children and I go regularly to distribution and we hand eight bananas to a family of five—that's for a month," she recently told her local NBC affiliate. “We know we can do more.”

Photo: Adweek

Gwynne Shotwell

Gwynne Shotwell *

[Tech/Science]
President and COO, SpaceX
Children: Two
Whether discussing the positives and negatives of reusing or refurbishing spaceships, or the logistics of installing satellites, it’s all rocket science to powerful workmom Gwynne—literally. The head of SpaceX is responsible for day-to-day operations and $5 billion in contracts, including the four-time fail and subsequent smooth landing success (on water!) of the Falcon 9 rocket. She joined SpaceX in 2002 as VP of Business Development and is also a member of the SpaceX Board of Directors. A background in math and mechanical engineering prepped her for previous positions at Aerospace Corporation and Microcosm's Space Systems Division. While at the helm at SpaceX, Gwynne built the Falcon vehicle and oversaw more than 40 launches, representing $3 billion-plus in revenue. At the recent Satellite 2016 conference, she discussed what was next for SpaceX, including 16 more launches this year, and as many as 30 by 2017. A true role model for females interested in STEM careers, this mom of two (one a daughter) shows us all through her efforts that girls rule on land—and in space.

Photo: SpaceX

Megan Smith

Megan Smith *

[Tech/Science]
Chief Technology Officer, the White House
Children: Two
Ever wonder who (metaphorically) plugs POTUS and FLOTUS into the technological innovations of our world? An out and proud powerful working mom, Megan was VP at Google before she was the White House CTO, first leading New Business Development, then co-creating Google’s “SolveForX” innovation community project as well as its “WomenTechmakers” tech-diversity initiative. Prior to that, she was CEO of PlanetOut, a leading LGBT online community when the Web first became a thing, forging partnerships with AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, and other online entities. An innovator of note, Megan also helped design early smartphone technologies at General Magic, worked on multimedia products at Apple Japan, and previously served on the boards of MIT, MIT Media Lab, MIT Technology Review and Vital Voices. She also served as an advisor to the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the Malala Fund, which she co-founded. During an interview with Makers, her adoration for her children was palpable: “They’re integrated in our lives, not only of course our family life, but we take them into our professional life. Just getting them exposed to all the different parts of what we love and seeing what they’re interested in. They’re amazing kids and they're so high energy—all in—so you can do extraordinary things with them.”

Photo: Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Anne Wojcicki

Anne Wojcicki

[Tech/Science]
Founder & CEO, 23andMe/Biochemist/Philanthropist
Children: Benji, 7, Wojin, 4
The Wojcicki sisters hit our list together this year (see Susan, above). Anne returns for the innovative power of her breakthrough, at-home scientific innovation. As CEO of 23andMe, she’s invented a way to discover your genomes through DNA testing from the comfort of your own home, to give more power to your own healthcare. The Palo Alto native has science in the blood—her dad was a professor in Stanford’s physics department for some four decades. Though she recently made headlines for dating A-Rod, this devoted single mom is dedicated to raising money for Parkinson’s Disease—her foundation with her ex-husband (Google co-founder) Sergey Brin has donated more than $160 million to fight Parkinson's Disease and matched millions of dollars in other donations over several years. During a recent interview with The Guardian UK, she extolled the virtues of genetic testing—especially for parents. “If you are going to have children, I think you have a responsibility to know if you are carrying anything. A lot of people tend to do the testing once they are pregnant. I personally would rather go into the decision of having a child knowing this information because then I feel like I could be a better informed potential parent. If I knew both my partner and I were carriers for cystic fibrosis, then do I want to take on the chance of having a child who has the disease? Or if I do then have a child with it, how can I get them the best treatment possible?” Powerful knowledge this power mom hopes to share with us.

Photo: Google.com

Latest


More Stories


Videos