10 Female CEOs on the Secrets to Their Success

There’s no denying that women have come a long way to fight for a seat at the table, but even today, only 5% of Fortune 500 companies are led by female CEOs. So how have women in the realms of business and tech risen above the challenges to get to the top? Scroll down for 10 leaders on their inspiring secrets to success.


1. Jean Brownhill Lauer, Sweeten

“My advice to women in tech, and women who want to start their own companies, is to be joyful and passionate – maybe some people will call these ‘feminine’ traits – but don’t allow people to convince you that you are on the wrong path… You need to tap into what might be conventionally perceived as a strong masculine drive but hold on to and highlight what might be conventionally perceived as feminine enthusiasm.” –Forbes


2. Kat Cole, Focus Brands

“A piece of career advice I received when I was incredibly young was that anytime you get criticized, take a moment and assume the criticism is accurate. Assume the person criticizing you is right, just for a moment.” – Business Insider


3. Daina Trout, Health-Ade Kombucha

There is no secret to success. Although, there are a few things I notice in mentoring other women who are getting started and I even noticed in myself that will help accelerate success. Firstly, getting over self doubt and lack of confidence. Secondly, going after it and taking a risk to accomplish a goal without getting into your head that you aren’t good enough.” – Forbes


4. Sophie Chiche, Shape House

“Grit, surrounding yourself with the right people. What ever talents I didn’t have in myself I would find it in other people. Also,taking care of yourself. If you can’t take care of yourself you will burn out and you won’t be able to show up for your business.” –Forbes


5. Jamie Kern Lima, IT Cosmetics

“Authenticity. It is harder than ever for people to be authentic. It’s easy in the time of social media to hear loud opinions and voices from a variety of different people even if it goes against the entrepreneur’s gut on whats best for their own brand. Listen to your gut and tune out whats going on around you. If you listen to those voices, it will influence you to go in a direction that its already been done.” –Forbes


6. Rosalind Brewer, Starbucks

“Never lose your sense of possibility… Always consider that you are part of something bigger than yourself.” – Spelman College Commencement Speech


7. Danae Ringelmann, Indiegogo

“Don’t be afraid to be you and own it. If you think being a leader is about having some agenda, it’s not. Being a leader is actually being completely with who you are and speaking from that place, giving feedback, sharing opinions from that place. That’s why people follow you.” –Fast Company


8. Lori Greiner, Entrepreneur & Investor, Shark Tank

“A brilliant idea doesn’t guarantee a successful invention. Real magic comes from a brilliant idea combined with willpower, tenacity, and a willingness to make mistakes.”


9. Susan Wojcicki, YouTube

“Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. ‘Here, open it, it’s perfect. You’ll love it.’ Opportunities — the good ones — are messy, confusing and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.”


10. Maureen Chiquet, Former CEO of Chanel

You’ve got to have a strong point of view and present it effectively. But to lead effectively and achieve real business results as the head of any enterprise, you have to listen. You’ve got to constantly ask questions and seek out diverse opinions, and remain humble enough to change your mind—whether about a product or a person.”