December saw very few major corporate jobs go to women, but women entrepreneurs raised over $140 million. Women entrepreneurs raised money all through 2012 including Leila Jonah (pictured), who raised $7.5 million for Samasource, which brings our total for the year of money raised by women entrepreneurs and women ceos for their startups to over $1 billion.
In reviewing 2012, the total number of big corporate appointments of women is disappointing, but there were some stand out jobs that demonstrate the power women built up this past year. Microsoft chose Julie Larson-Green to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. Microsoft also chose former CBS Network Television Entertainment Group President Nancy Tellem to be their Entertainment & Digital Media President. Microsoft recognized these powerful women and put them in powerful jobs. What can we learn from this? Every woman needs to increase her power footprint by building up her power skills. But women do need support and companies must clear the path to power for women by providing appropriate training, proper mentoring, flexibility and above all, succession planning. While women engineers move up at Microsoft and get put on corporate boards in large numbers, all women need to take advantage of the tools technology offers to build their power footprint. Social Media has become our golf course. Twitter, Linkedin, and other social media sites are where women can find partners, investors, mentors, industry contacts just like men do on the golf course. Women are at the center of social media, and the appointment of Marissa Mayer this year as CEO of Yahoo! only demonstrates this further. Her being a new mother didn't scare anyone anymore, and in fact may have made her the perfect candidate in many ways. In the 21st century women need to be innovative and tech savvy, flexible, able to change with the times, and able to take a global approach to business. Women have shown the power to see things differently in 2012, women like Leila Janah, who raised $7.5 million in a philanthropic funding for her company Samasource which connects women and youth living in poverty around the world to work opportunities. These women entrepreneurs and all the corporate women appointed in 2012 featured on NewsonWomen are good examples of women who understand the power of innovation.
Women in science have been successful this year at raising awareness and funds for their ideas as seen in the many women-led healthcare and biotech startups funded this past year. Also, GE appointed Sue Siegel CEO of "Healthymagination", GE’s $6 billion global commitment to help people have better health at lower costs. Healthcare is a leading growth industry for future jobs and women are taking advantage of that, raising awareness for health screenings, and better applications. We need more women in science and here's why.
Another group of women demonstratring their powerful skills this year were the female athletes at the London 2012 Olympics, women who set records, won gold medals, and provided us with many role models for the future. The Olympics were important for another reason - organizers refused any list of candidates for major jobs there that did not include women. Bravo! More executives should follow this lead.