Two Hugely Inspirational Women in Business

By on September 1, 2012

By Amanda Watson –

For many, the term “entrepreneur” is almost like saying I want to be an actor or a singer—it’s somewhat of a fantasy for the average working individual. Of course, there are many individuals who succeed as entrepreneurs and small business owners, but as the economy continues to stagger and stumble that feat is looking ever-smaller for many of us. Aside from the troubling outlook of our economy, entrepreneurship and being a businessman calls to mind another discouraging image. For many, when we think CEO, business leader, and successful entrepreneur, we still think “man”. Traditionally, men have ruled the world of high powered business suits and international conference calls. Of course, this is changing and has been for many years now.

Women have been making huge waves in the world of business for some time. While women are certainly seeing more time in the boardrooms and corporate offices, it remains that only about 16 percent of the top positions in the corporate world globally are held by women (as discussed here). While this percentage is far from even, there are numerous women making names for themselves in the business world and serving as pristine examples of inspiration for our future women leaders.

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Jill Vialet—Playworks

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Jill Vialet is the CEO and founder of Playworks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving schools around the country. Vialet has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years. She used her entrepreneurial skills and drive to create two successful nonprofit organizations. Playworks is a hugely successful organization found throughout the country in 20 different states. The company serves over 130,000 children in 300 schools throughout the country in hopes use recess and play to support learning. The organization focuses on low-income schools in major urban areas and engages students with increased physical activity and play. The effects of this improves school climate and reduces bullying. Vialet has also used her entrepreneurial spirit to co-find the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA), an organization dedicated to celebrating the art and creativity of children. Vialet’s business drive and dedication to her nonprofit dreams serve as a wonderful source for inspiration and insight.

Sheryl Sandberg—Facebook

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For most of us, when we think about Facebook, we think of Mark Zuckerberg and computer nerds. While Zuckerberg is the head component of the Facebook team, 42 year old Sheryl Sandberg is the mega-company’s Chief Operating Officer. While COO of Facebook is already a pretty impressive title, Sandberg has a long history in the world of high powered tech business and business leadership. Sandberg served as Vice President of Global Sales and Operations for internet giant Google and was the Chief of Staff to the United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1996 to 2001. These are high marks for any individual. Sandberg earned her Bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in Economics and gained her business chops at Harvard Business School where she earned her MBA. Sandberg led Facebook to reach record highs in 2011 with almost $4 billion in revenue and is on the boards of both Disney and Starbucks. With her success, Sandberg has used her experience and voice to become a leading voice advocating for women in the workplace. Sandberg is an important icon in world of business overall and plays and important role in the future of women in business.


Amanda Watson is a blogger who loves to share her passion for online higher education with her many readers. She gladly dispenses online mba advice and shares her wisdom for all things related to getting a degree online. Outside of online education, Watson is hugely passionate about modern careers and equality in the business world. Send her an email at [email protected].

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Two Hugely Inspirational Women in Business