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Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business 2011

Fortune’s annual ranking of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business 2011” has just been released. Youngest high flying ladies to make the list are 36 year old Marissa Meyer from Google, followed by 41 year old Meredith Whitney (the equity analyst who gained fame in 2007 for rightly calling for banking stocks to collapse and since set up her own advisory firm).

Highest paid lady is Safra Catz, CEO and president of Oracle, with a total annual compensation of $42m, not bad at all!!! I was intrigued to find Marina Armstrong with a total annual compensation of $16m on the list of highest paid women. She is the general manager of Gymboree, a retail chain that offers music and exercise games for children and their families. I have heard of Gymboree classes from other mums in my neighbourhood but never knew it was an international business acquired by Bain Capital in 2010!! Its founder is Joan Barnes who had the idea when she was looking for a safe place for her children to play. So much for mocking mumpreneurs!!! I knew babies were big business but didn’t expect a gymboree executive (not even the founder) to be one of the highest flying ladies in the United States!

On a more thoughtful note, I wonder if I, or at least my daughter, will live to see the day when we can do away with “50 most powerful women” and “Highest paid women” and “richest women” lists. When are we just going to have one list of all entrepreneurs and executives and women will just naturally populate all of them to a fair share. It just feels like we’re children who need to be protected and ranked in a separate category. I can see the value of women and men competing separately in athletics and team sports (although I have read that women would outperform men and hold the world record in ski jump if they were allowed to compete!), but when will we be successful and powerful enough that we can aim for making the lists without competing in our own subcategory? It’s time for us to hatch, ladies!

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