Female sci-tech execs on the rise

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Meg Whitman
Meg Whitman is the current CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

There are tons of companies in America, but according to Forbes magazine, only 4% have females as CEOs. Given recent trends, however, it looks like there will be a lot more females taking over jobs dominated by men.

For example, billion-dollar company General Motors announced their decision to elect 51-year-old Mary Barra as their global production development chief in December. She is replacing Co-CEO Dan Akerson, who decided to step away from the position to support his ill wife. While this promotion does make Barra the first woman ever to lead a global automaker, it appears she is following in the footsteps of other powerful female leaders that came before her.

In July 2012, Yahoo! elected Marissa Mayer as president and CEO of the popular company. Before her appointment, she began working at Google, where she became the company’s first female engineer. Mayer then spent 12 years building up an impressive resume with Google and eventually caught the eye of Yahoo! executives who wanted her on their team. “Marissa is a well-known, visionary leader in user experience and product design and one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting strategists in technology development,” said David Filo, Yahoo! co-founder.

Meg Whitman is another visionary leader. When she first became CEO of eBay in 1998, the company was 30 employees strong and generating around $4 million in revenue. When she left for her current CEO position with Hewlett-Packard, eBay had more than 15,000 employees and over $8 billion in revenue.

According to a study conducted by UC Davis, it might be in a company’s best interest to have more women on their board of directors! The study analyzed the biggest 400 companies in the state of California, including Apple, Facebook, Chevron, and Google. Based on their results, the companies that had higher percentages of women on their board also had higher revenue. Steven C. Currall, dean and professor of management in the Graduate School of Management at UC Davis, believes, “We need to build on this momentum to push for greater gender equality in corporate boardrooms and among executives.”

Featured image courtesy of Fortune Live Media on Flickr. Image of Meg Whitman courtesy of Max Morse on Wikipedia.