Female CEOs are slowly becoming more and more prevalent in the corporate world. Given that almost half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by American immigrants, it makes sense that many these powerful female CEOs are also foreign-born. Many lesser known, but still incredibly successful, companies are also led by immigrant woman – showing how great an impact both women and immigrants have on the American economy.
Although only 13% of the population is made up of immigrants, almost a quarter of new businesses created every year are started by immigrants. In 2010 alone, more than $770 billion in sales was generated by immigrant-owned businesses. In addition, The National Bureau of Economic Research conducted a study in 2018 that found that in 2012 nearly 45% of immigrant business owners were women. Women immigrants have long been heralded as the unsung heroes of the business world, with a growing number of companies being run by or founded by female American immigrants.
Among these companies are Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), whose CEO and President is Cuban-born Geisha Williams, and Advanced Micro Devices (ADM), led by Taiwan-born Lisa Su as both President and CEO. Both of these companies are leaders in their male-dominated fields and made a statement by appointing foreign, female leaders as the heads of their organisations.
Immigrants often face a number of challenges, including acclimating to the new culture, new language, and new environment wherever they settle in the United States – many times also having to attend school or begin employment while balancing these challenges. Added to that stress for a large collection of women is the weight of taking care of a family and raising children in a new country, sometimes without other family members around to assist as they may have in their home country. In spite of these hardships, and others that arise, immigrant women have succeeded, and continue to succeed, despite the many trials they face. These amazing women prove that while immigration may be a difficult road, with willpower and a thirst for the American dream, anything is possible.