Top Influential Business Women in Business History

Women have made a tremendous impact on business, government, and Fortune 500 companies, and these women made a significant difference in their respective fields. Madam CJ Walker became the first self-made millionaire in US history, but her fortune is not thought to have reached the seven-figure mark. In addition to making a huge impact on business and government, these women were also instrumental in creating innovative technologies that would revolutionize the way we do business today.

Nicole junkermann mary barra

Nicole Junkermann Mary Barra are two of the most influential businesswomen in history. Both were born in Germany and had extensive experience in the tech world. Junkermann founded the online gaming website Winamax before selling it nine years later. She has since founded venture capital funds for companies, including United in Sports and the NASDAQ stock exchange. Junkermann has a passion for Spain and has become a global businesswoman.

As one of the first female CEOs of a Fortune 500 company, Nicole Junkermann had the rare experience and unique background to succeed in her career. She joined the company when she was only 18 years old and has put in long hours of effort. Today, she still has a strong sense of pride and excitement about the company’s future, as well as a commitment to improving the lives of her employees.

DAME ANITA RODDICK

DAME ANITA RODDICK is the founder of Body Shop, a global cosmetics chain with 2,000 stores worldwide. She was an outspoken feminist and champion of the environment and viewed business as an extension of society. Her anti-establishment views led her to join the front line of protests at the WTO in 1999.

Anita Roddick had an eccentric and controversial personality. She attacked old-style capitalists and sold the Body Shop to L’Oreal, a division of Nestle. She also had a reputation as a troublemaker, and many deemed her brash personality a turnoff. Nevertheless, many considered her an inspirational role model, and her impact on business history has been immense.

LILLIAN VERNON

In 1978, Lillian Vernon became the first female entrepreneur to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Vernon was born in Leipzig, Germany, and came to the US in 1938 to escape Nazi persecution. She inherited her father’s entrepreneurial spirit and eventually built a mail-order empire spanning more than three decades. Vernon’s company would become the first women-owned business publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Lillian Vernon’s success grew exponentially after she divorced Robert Katz, the founder of Lucite, in 1969. Her divorce was finalized in 1988, and she married salon owner Paolo Martino in 1998. While her second marriage ended in divorce, Lillian Vernon continued to lead the company. The Lillian Vernon Corporation currently publishes eight mail-order catalogs featuring toys, garden products, personal accessories, and outdoor products. Lillian Vernon also has outlets in the Eastern U.S., where you can buy discounted catalogs.

RUTH HANDLER

In 1970, Ruth Handler was fired from her position at Mattel after losing a lawsuit. She was the head of an advertising agency and wanted to promote a new toy. To do so, Handler hired retail detail people to watch sales and give feedback to the company. As a result, Handler became an expert in inventory control and sales forecasting. This is the key to Handler’s success and influence in business history.

Handler was also a toy designer who created the Barbie doll. Handler’s business acumen was not regarded when she was a girl. However, this didn’t stop her from becoming one of the richest businesswomen in U.S. history. She began her career as a stenographer and turned a modest workshop into a vast toy empire. Her efforts paid off when Mattel finally released the Barbie doll.

ESTÉE LAUDER

Estee Lauder is one of the most influential businesswomen in history, and she has been cited as the first American female billionaire. In 1894, Lauder was the first American woman to create a skincare line. She later became one of the most famous makeup and cosmetics companies. Lauder was a highly successful entrepreneur, and her success was due to her savvy business strategies.

While selling her products in department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, she also partnered with advertising managers to send mailers to targeted consumers. This strategy helped her company establish itself as a top-tier cosmetics brand, which opened doors to other high-end department stores. Estee Lauder also pioneered offering sample products with purchases to attract new customers.