As part of our Women in Investing series, we’re discussing the top female CEOs who are standing out in their respective industries.
MyWallSt is celebrating Women’s History Month by discussing female investors, CEOs, and highlighting how women can take control of their financial future through investing!
Mary Barra — CEO of General Motors
Forbes magazine named the CEO of General Motors (NYSE: GM) as the second-most powerful woman in business, a tremendous accomplishment considering she is the first female leader of a major automobile company. Barra was also listed on Barron’s ‘World’s Best CEOs’ because of her ability to deliver to GM shareholders. The company has thrived under Barra’s forward-thinking leadership and is currently the number one carmaker in the U.S., with over 16% market share. With her vision and unique understanding of the auto industry, GM plans to invest $27 billion in EV production by 2025.
General Motors stock has outpaced its main competitor Ford since Barra stepped into the role back in 2014. GM is up more than 46% while Ford Motors (NYSE: F) is down almost 15% since 2014. What’s important to note here is that the CEO took over the company when the business was struggling and had just been saved from bankruptcy by a government bailout, which makes the company’s growth since then even more impressive.
What can we learn from Mary Barra?
Women should not shy away from male-dominated industries as they are just as capable of flourishing in these roles. Seeing more women in the auto field will encourage more young girls to enter it. As electric vehicle companies are a highly lucrative industry to get into, Barra has helped break the glass ceiling so more women can benefit from this booming industry of the future.
Katrina Lake — CEO of Stitch Fix
While it might not be rare to see a female CEO in the fashion industry, Katrina Lake has stood out for building a very unique business as the leader of Stitch Fix (NASDAQ: SFIX). The company leverages data science and stylists’ vision to send users personalized outfits.
Ten years after starting a personal-shopping service out of her apartment with the goal of giving busy women an easier way to shop, her fortune has swelled to $1.1 billion. This has made her one of just 19 self-made female billionaires in the U.S. At the time, Lake was the youngest woman to ever take a company public and the 38-year-old stylish entrepreneur appeared on Forbes ‘Richest Self-Made Women’ list in 2020 boasting a net worth of roughly $360 million.
Stitch Fix stock has soared more than 388% over the past year as more consumers used the service during COVID-19 when physical stores were closed. However, the company is expected to stick around long after the pandemic as the personal styling offering will still be in demand for busy women looking for new clothing in the digital, data-driven world that we live in.
What can we learn from Katrina Lake?
To use her strengths in business, Lake combined her love of fashion with her aptitude and understanding of data science to build an amazing product that is revolutionizing the fashion industry. By doing this, she has merged two extremely profitable industries together — fashion and tech — to make lives easier for shoppers.
Whitney Wolfe Herd — CEO of Bumble
Building a dating service company with the purpose to help women take control of their love life has made this female founder a billionaire. When Bumble (NASDAQ: BMBL) made its market debut in February 2021, the company’s shares jumped 67% on the day to $72, which pushed Herd’s stake to $1.5 billion.
Aspiring CEOs should take note of Herd’s business model because essentially what she did was capitalize on an underrepresented market by offering them a service that not only empowers women but gives them more opportunities to use the app for connections outside of dating.
Herd has explained that market expansion is a massive part of Bumble’s plan and she has recently spoken about the app’s launch into India. This country represents an extremely difficult market for the service as women’s rights and safety are of huge concern. As such, Herd has made huge efforts to ensure the safety of users (like daters only having to list their first name) and has focused on promoting Bumble’s friend and business connections services in the region.
What can we learn from Whitney Wolfe Herd?
Herd has shown women to be bold in their pursuit of entrepreneurship. Not only did the founder publicly leave Tinder after she was sexually harassed, but she went on to build an app that would rival her former company while still creating a purpose-driven business model.
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The above article is part five in MyWallSt’s Women In Investing series. Check out the other titles in the series so far.