For years, women have lagged behind in the world of business. The men dominated the CEO and chairman positions, while the few women to obtain leadership roles found themselves outside of the Fortune 500. Despite years of setbacks, women appear to be on the verge of breaking that stubborn glass ceiling.
With the increasing importance of social media in today’s business world, female entrepreneurs have finally found their niche. Today’s fastest rising businesses all have two main things in common: strong social media platforms and women filling up the leadership roles.
There are thousands of powerful women leading the way in social media, but the following are a few of the most distinguished female powerhouses.
Famed creator of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington singlehandedly created one of today’s most important sources of web-based news. The liberal-leaning website features extensive coverage in politics, entertainment, green living, comedy, business, and several other areas. After AOL acquired the Huffington Post in early 2011, Arianna Huffington became the editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. She was ranked as the twelfth most influential woman in media in Forbes.
Before photo sharing became available on Facebook, everybody loaded their pictures to Flickr. As the co-founder of Flickr, Caterina Fake was the brain behind much of today’s social media terminology, including photo tagging and community open APIs. After she sold Flickr to Yahoo!, Fake went on to found an Internet taste graph known as Hunch. This Web service creates decision trees that can make choices for users based on their personal interests.
Yes, many people are happy to scoff at Oprah’s name, but few realize just what a business genius the woman is. As a television host and producer, Oprah garnered a massive following of viewers from all walks of life. Her empire eventually grew to include a website, a radio statio, and several magazines. Labeled by CNN as “arguably the world’s most powerful woman,” Winfrey’s influence extends from literary circles to presidential elections. She has a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook and uses social media to advance philanthropic projects. Oprah loves to give things away and provide incredible services for her followers—something everybody who wants a strong social media presence should invest in.
In the early days of the World Wide Web, Yahoo! was the leading search engine and web portal. After its voice was drowned out by Google, Yahoo! went into a long period of decline. The corporation is finally resurfacing, thanks to the hard work of CEO Carol Bartz. After joining Yahoo! in 2009, Carol Bartz set to work streamlining the web portal and revamping the company’s organization structure.
As former VP at Google and current chief operating officer of Facebook, Sandberg has effectively positioned herself at two of the most influential corporations of the twenty-first century. Although Facebook rose to the height of cool under Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership, it was Sandberg who actually managed to turn Facebook into a profitable enterprise. Sandberg has also made it possible for dozens of women to assume leadership roles. Under her direction, Facebook has more female executives than most other tech firms.
As one of the world’s largest independent agencies, Social Media Group is responsible for helping businesses adapt to a web now dependent on social media. Maggie Fox is the founder and CEO of Social Media Group and she has proven quite talented in forming social media strategies for major corporations. Her influence has shaped the way businesses attract and retain customers through the use of social networks.
In addition to being a social media genius, Lisa Stone is a leading advocate for women. Stone is the co-founder and CEO of BlogHer, a group blog and online community created by and for women. The content featured on BlogHer covers topics such as parenting, literature, finances, health, politics, and sports. The site has helped to guide women in the complex world of social media, thus preparing them for leadership roles in today’s business environment.
While working as the CEO for Time Inc., Ann Moore hoped she would one day be known for transforming the company. Although she stepped down from the leadership position in 2010, it is already clear that Moore’s business fortitude allowed the publication to seamlessly transition from the printed page to the Web. Moore understood the importance of keeping up with new technology, which is why Time remained successful after other print publications began to flop.
Over the years, Tina Brown has held important editorial roles at Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Her latest accomplishment is the successful launching of The Daily Beast, an online magazine and news aggregator. In 2010, Time magazine ranked The Daily Beast among the top five news sites, beating out National Geographic and WikiLeaks. Now that The Daily Beast and Newsweek have merged operations, Tina Brown is on to new and equally exciting projects.
Having been ranked as the number one most influential woman on Twitter, Jessica Northey most certainly deserves a spot on this list. A self-proclaimed social mediologist, Northey’s optimization strategies have been implemented at top radio stations, making her the ultimate authority on social media in the broadcasting field. Northey’s success proves that intelligent implementation of social media strategy is the key to making it in radio.