Success is not luck. It’s what happens when preparation meets opportunity. And those who begin this preparation process out of the starting blocks tend to acquire key leadership assignments and professional reputations that, in some cases, exceed those of colleagues more than a decade their senior. The female entrepreneurs and corporate executives identified in our latest “editors’ choice” roster—40 Rising Stars 40 and Under—have made moves that have placed them on the path to power and success in business, all before their 41st birthdays.
In consulting the nation’s largest public and private corporations, major trade associations, established entrepreneurs, and senior executives over the past several months, our editorial research team discovered this cadre of remarkable women. They operate within a range of industries and disciplines, including science and technology; advertising, marketing, and public relations; finance; energy; food and beverages; and entertainment. Some run large or significant divisions of their companies and report to a chief executive or division head, others have launched and managed successful independent entities. These women are innovators and influencers, trailblazers and pioneers who reshaped and refreshed disciplines with cutting-edge processes, or transformed ideas into tangible, lucrative products or services.
We chose not to include managers or employees of law firms, unions, nonprofit organizations, or government agencies, or those employed in fashion or the arts, medicine, and education.
Having attained this much power and success early in their respective careers, there’s no telling what groundbreaking achievements the women who made this year’s list will accomplish in coming years. Judging from the drive that put them in their current positions, it appears as if nothing will stop them from reaching the pinnacle of global industry.