Throughout history, women have cracked glass ceilings and climbed over legal, societal and financial barriers to shape the ever-evolving American business culture. Even during our nation’s infancy — when females were not permitted to own land, sign contracts, run for office or vote — women contributed significantly to big business. Some contributions were made in secret, others in bold defiance of prevailing restrictions.
When wars raged and markets crashed, industrious women ran agriculture, textile and steel conglomerates. When poverty spread and discrimination ruled, passionate women organized change, created nonprofits and owned media outlets. When old rules bent until they snapped and newer, unspoken rules took hold, brave women forged their own paths and redefined success.
As a tribute to the mothers of American business, here is a mere snapshot: 10 remarkable women who changed history through their insights, leadership, inventions and ingenuity.