Recently, the 2012 Fortune 500 list was released. When I first saw the list I had no idea that there were a record number of female executives, until I saw in a blog that detailed, “The 2012 ranking of the 500 largest corporations in the United States includes a record 18 firms helmed by female CEOs, up from 12 companies in 2011. The previous record for women-led companies in the Fortune 500 was set in 2009, and included 15 firms run by female executives. Just seven Fortune 500 companies had female CEOs in 2002 and 2003.”
There are 2.5x more female CEOs than there were 10 years ago. So what advice do these accomplished 18 women have to share? In Career Advice from Fortune 500′s Women CEOs, KeyCorp CEO Beth Mooney advises, “If somebody hands you a torch, what do you do with it? And I think the answer is easy. You light the way for others to follow.”
I urge you to read through the advice from the other 17 female CEOs in the gallery as well. There are tips and advice on a range of topics, such as, ambition, loyalty, learning, and getting out of your comfort zone. My favorite bit of advice is from Debra L. Reed, CEO of Sempra Energy, “There’s room for everyone to be successful.” I think it is such a positive and empowering perspective.
A colleague of mine said that the advice that resonated most to her was that of Virginia M. Rometty, CEO of IBM, “Someone once told me growth and comfort do not coexist. And I think it’s a really good thing to remember.”
I commend and thank this extraordinary group of women for sharing their gift of advice.
What advice did you find most inspiring? What advice do you have to share with the next generation?