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It is 2018 and we are in a time in history where women are growing a stronger and louder voice, sense of empowerment and motivation to be part of the businesses world. It is no surprise that women are an essential key for success, their input and creativity give businesses a unique mark to bring to the business. In honor to these contributions, the third whole week of October is used to celebrate strong business women around the globe.   

For decades, the contribution of a myriad of business women has been hidden, unfortunately under a veil of prejudice and discrimination. However, obstacles haven’t stopped women from meeting their goals, even if recognition was lacking. National Business Women’s Week has been celebrated every year since 1938 on the third week of October. Acknowledging the strong women that help the world of business through nurture and care way is the way of the future.

According to the Business and Professional Women Foundation, there are 7.2 million women-owned businesses in the U.S, which makes it one of the fastest growing sectors in the nation. The Center for Women’s business research found that women start businesses at twice the rate of all companies and are generating $1.1 trillion in sales.

In honor of National Business Women’s Week, celebrate four of the World’s Most Powerful Women in Business as featured on Forbes’ Most Influential People list.

  • The Empire Builder – Diane Hendricks

Born and raised in Afton, Wisconsin, Ms. Hendricks is the co-founder of ABC supplies, one of the largest wholesale distributors of construction supplies in the U.S. The company has more than 700 locations and  is worth $9 billion.

  • The Cyber-Sales Mastermind – Meg Whitman

Best known for being ebay’s CEO and having the company go from $5.7 million to $8 billion in sales, Ms. Whitman is also recognized for once being the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, as well as a former executive for Hasbro and Disney.

  • The Tech Guru – Marissa Mayer

Ms. Mayer was one of Google’s first employees and also Yahoo’s CEO. She resigned from Yahoo when it was sold to Verizon. She then co-founded an incubator focused on artificial intelligence and consumer media called Lumi Labs located in Palo Alto, California.

  • The Media Wizard – Oprah Winfrey

With a weekly TV viewership  of over 49 million, Oprah Winfrey’s career started as a morning show host.  Due to her charisma and talent, she was offered the opportunity to start her own talk show: The Oprah Winfrey Show. After a couple of months it became the highest-rated talk show in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Winfrey’s entrepreneurial mindset and determination helped this boss lady achieve a multitude of successes including the launch of the “O” magazine and its online counterpart, the non-profit Oprah’s Angel Network, and the Oprah Winfrey Network. Now that’s some female power!  

These are four of the many strong and empowering women that have shaped U.S. society. If you are a woman with innovative and unique ideas, share your expertise. Who knows? You might be the next one on the Forbes Most Successful Businesswomen list!


Sharon Schweitzer and Sophie Echeverry co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.

Sophie Echeverry is the corporate marketing manager and event coordinator at Access to Culture. Born and raised in Colombia, she’s a 2018 graduate with a B.B.A. in International Business and Marketing from Hult International Business School in San Francisco, CA. Connect with her on LinkedIn.