There was a time when the Fortune 500 consisted almost completely of companies owned by men. But those days are over. Women have become important figures in the marketing world, starting numerous highly successful companies. Here are five of the top women in marketing today, in no particular order.
Although her career has not been without controversy, there’s no denying that Martha Stewart is a shrewd businesswoman. Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she is well known for her television show, magazine and line of housewares.
Stewart worked as a model and a stockbroker before she started a catering business in 1976. From there she started selling cookbooks, and she began to make television appearances. She eventually became editor of Martha Stewart Living Magazine and got her own show. Other projects include her own wine and food labels and a satellite radio talk show.
Sandy Lerner is not your average businesswoman. Lerner made her mark in an male-dominated industry when she entered the business world as co-founder of Cisco Systems, a networking and communications technology company.
Fired when the company went public, she went on to found Urban Decay Cosmetics. The company was acquired by Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2000. Since then, Lerner has founded and directed several smaller companies and done a great deal of charitable work.
Media mogul Kay Koplovitz is the CEO of Koplovitz and Company. She founded the Madison Square Garden Sports Network, which later became USA Network, in 1977. This made her the first female network president in television history.
Koplovitz led USA to the top of cable primetime ratings, where it remained for 14 years. She also founded the Sci-Fi network in 1992. She is a co-founder of Boldcap Ventures, an all-woman venture capital firm that invests in media, technology and healthcare.
Lillian Hochberg came from a family of German Jews who were forced to leave the country during World War II and start anew. After dropping out of New York University to get married, Hochberg started selling personalized handbags and belts through magazine ads. This venture went on to become the Lillian Vernon Corporation.
Lillian Vernon went on to publish five catalog titles, and became one of the biggest companies in the mail order business. Hochberg is a recipient of the International Center in New York’s Award of Excellence.
No list of successful female entrepreneurs would be complete without Oprah Winfrey. The child of an impoverished teenage single mother, she began working in radio while she was in high school. This led to a series of jobs in television, including a local Chicago talk show. Winfrey started her own production company, and her show became nationally syndicated.
Not only is Oprah a popular television personality, she is also the first black woman billionaire in history. She is known as one of the most influential people in the world, and her Angel Network has raised millions of dollars for charity.
These five women are living proof that females can be highly successful in business and marketing. Their stories are an inspiration to us all.