When Fortune published its first Most Powerful Women in Business list in 1998, there was Carly Fiorina at the top and not a huge amount of power underneath.
Relatively speaking, that is.
That 1998 Fortune MPW list included just two Fortune 500 CEOs: Jill Barad of Mattel (MAT) and Marion Sandler, who was co-chief of Golden West Financial with her husband, Herb. The 2013 Fortune MPW list, released this morning, includes 20 Fortune 500 CEOs. At the top: Ginni Rometty of IBM (IBM).
Fifteen years ago, most of the Fortune MPW were in the consumer packaged goods and media industries. The 2013 list features consumer-products stars--PepsiCo (PEP) chief Indra Nooyi, Mondelez (MDLZ) CEO Irene Rosenfeld and Procter & Gamble's (PG) Mel Healey and Deb Henretta. But women in tech dominate the new rankings. The 2013 top 10 includes five tech execs: Rometty, Facebook's (FB) Sheryl Sandberg (No. 5), Yahoo (YHOO) chief Marissa Mayer (No. 8) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) boss Meg Whitman (No. 9).
If you doubt that women overall are gaining power in corporate America, consider: Women run the two largest tech companies in the U.S.: IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Lynn Good, a newcomer to the list, heads Duke Energy (DUK), the biggest U.S. electric utility. And Marillyn Hewson (No. 4) is CEO of the world's largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin (LMT). The 2013 MPW list includes four women in defense, vs. no defense-industry executives in 1998.
There are lots of moms on the 2013 MPW list (all of the top 10 except Rometty). And in general, Fortune's MPW are getting older. Average age: 53, vs. 48 in 1998. And why are the MPW aging? In part because their businesses are getting bigger: Today's Fortune MPW typically oversee at least $6 billion in sales, vs. $1 billion or so 15 years ago. Experience, as well as size, matters.
And for the first time ever, one woman who has always made Fortune's MPW list dropped off: Oprah Winfrey. Her cable network, OWN, seems to have overcome its startup struggles and is drawing bigger audiences, but the business isn't big enough to put Oprah, No. 50 last year, on the 2013 list.
What makes a great speech? Persuasion.
This is what the experts at Quantified Impressions, a firm that analyzes communications skills, report is most critical to connect with a crowd--when the crowd is college grads, at least.
Examining 31 college commencement speeches cited in the press as compelling and memorable, the firm evaluated these talks against a database of ordinary speeches and everyday conversation. The analysis included 80 different metrics. Persuasion turned out MOREPatricia Sellers - Jun 3, 2013 7:57 AM ET
If she wrote a book about OWN, Oprah Winfrey said on CBS This Morning yesterday, she could call it 101 Mistakes.
Oprah's No. 1 error? Launching her cable TV network "when we really weren't ready to launch," she confessed to best friend Gayle King and her co-host, Charlie Rose.
About her 15-month-old joint venture with Discovery Communications (DISCA), Oprah added: "Had I known it was this difficult, I might have done something else."
With MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 3, 2012 12:36 PM ET
Ever since Fortune, in 1998, started ranking the top women in business (yes, we were first), I've been asking the stars of the Most Powerful Women list how they reached the top and how they stay there. One month away from revealing our 2011 MPW rankings, now seems a good time to share some of their best career tips. Here is my Top 10:
1. Don't plan your career. Most of MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 30, 2011 10:48 AM ET
Last fall, in Oprah's Next Act, Oprah Winfrey talked about how she has learned to embrace her power.
Well, she did that today, by naming herself CEO of OWN, her new cable network that's been struggling to find its audience.
So much for the life of leisure Oprah once imagined she might have after her daytime talk show ended. ("La-di-da, I'll do a show and then I'll go have lunch with my MOREPatricia Sellers - Jul 13, 2011 5:05 PM ET
Fortune and Yahoo (YHOO) are teaming up to present weekly content -- stories and videos -- about Most Powerful Women. This is the first in a series of Postcards that will appear on Yahoo and Fortune.com.
It's the start of Most Powerful Women season at Fortune Magazine.
This is the time we begin hunting in earnest for the most successful women in business around the world. Fortune launched Most Powerful Women (MPW) in MOREPatricia Sellers - Jun 29, 2011 9:30 AM ET
I was on stage with Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the producer and director of Miss Representation, on Friday just after the news broke that Christina Norman was out as CEO of Oprah Winfrey's new TV network, OWN.
What an odd coincidence, since Newsom's documentary explores the dearth of women in "clout positions" in the mainstream media. Newsom says that this number is 3%.
Clearly, it is getting worse.
The day before Norman, a former president MOREPatricia Sellers - May 9, 2011 2:54 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Will Oprah Winfrey's OWN be a top 10 cable network?
"Technically, I don't think in terms of being in the top 10," Oprah told me in September, before the 1/1/11 launch of her new cable network. "But do I think we will be? Yes."
Fortune's recent cover story, "Oprah's Next Act," detailed her big hopes and just-as-big fears about her new venture. Now it appears that OWN's road to the MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 28, 2011 3:56 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Did you hear that Lady Gaga was the magazine world's No. 1 hit-maker in 2010? So says the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which found that the provocative performer sold more magazine covers last year than any other celebrity.
That got me thinking...Lady Gaga shares a trait with two other powerful women who are making news this week: Oprah Winfrey and Cathie Black, the new chancellor of New York City's MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 5, 2011 11:42 AM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Oprah Winfrey arrived on cable this weekend at long last. And I do mean long.
When I interviewed Oprah in her Chicago office a few months ago, she pulled a piece of paper out of her desk drawer. It was a note, scrawled in pencil, that Stedman Graham, her boyfriend, wrote to her when they were on vacation together in April 1992. Oprah had never shared the note with MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 3, 2011 12:48 PM ET
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