Nine Female Executives to Watch - Slide 5

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Ellen Kullman has been Chief Executive Officer of DuPont since January 2009. She is the first woman to lead a major public U.S. chemical firm. She is also the first woman to lead DuPont in its 206-year history.

Kullman is also the chairwoman of the board for DuPont. IT Business Edge’s Susan Hall wrote last year that “the number of public Silicon Valley companies with at least one woman on their boards has reached a new high of 56 percent.”

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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