“Today when I think about diversity, I actually think about the word ‘inclusion.’ And I think this is a time of great inclusion. It’s not men, it’s not women alone. Whether it’s geographic, it’s approach, it’s your style, it’s your way of learning, the way you want to contribute, it’s your age – it is really broad.”

Ginni Rometty served as the former CEO of the company IBM, however her journey started long before holding this high position. She has been with the company since 1981, first serving as a systems engineer as well as managing marketing and creating strategies for the company. She became widely publicized in 2002 after helping to merge both IBM and Pricewaterhouse Coopers IT consulting business together. During her time as CEO she focused heavily on analytics, cloud computing, and computing systems in order to both strengthen and enhance the company to a wider audience. It is with her efforts displayed, that inspiration is upheld with younger generations of women who hope to achieve high leading positions in male dominated industries.

Nationality: American

Industry: Research and Technology

Q: Have you faced gender-related challenges in your career? Harvard Business Review

A: “My biggest obstacles were self-imposed, which I think is true for many women. I often tell the story of how, years ago, my boss offered me a big promotion. I told him I wasn’t sure I was ready—that I needed two more years to prepare and become more confident. Later I spoke to my husband, who asked, “Do you think a man would have responded that way?” And I said, ‘No, he wouldn’t have.’ The next day I accepted the job.”

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