Nine Female Executives to Watch - Slide 7

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According to her company bio, Patricia Woertz was named CEO and president in April 2006. Bloomberg Businessweek notes that she is the first outside the Andreas family to run ADM since 1970. She thinks of herself as a CEO who happens to be a woman: "I'm fairly certain that Archer Daniels Midland didn't hire me because I'm a woman. I think my background and my performance mean more.”

With only about 15 of the Fortune 500 companies being led by female executives and some 25 percent of all U.S. CEO positions held by women, the members of these small groups receive a high level of scrutiny. But women may end up having the upper hand. As IT Business Edge blogger Don Tennant writes:

Attributes such as caring, nurturing, compassion, vulnerability and transparency, which tend to be manifested in women more inherently than in men … stand to be much more highly valued in the workplace …

How do these powerful women climb the corporate ladder? What skills and strategies have they employed during their careers and as chief executives? And are they actively pursuing mentoring and development opportunities to assist those following in their footsteps? This slideshow highlights nine female executives to keep your eye on.

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