Career Advice, Glassdoor Updates

8 Highest Rated Women CEOs in 2017

They’re at the top of the totem pole and every decision rests upon their shoulders. Stocks rise and fall, morale ebbs and flows, strategies pivot all thanks to their opinions. CEOs carry a huge responsibility and a heavy burden. But for eight of the 2017 Highest Rated CEOs, the burden is even heavier as they are trailblazers, icons and champions for the millions of women and men they represent.

This year’s list of Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEOs includes eight remarkable women who sit at the helm of their respective companies and make us all proud. Glassdoor has recognized the top CEOs among U.S. Large Companies (1,000+ employees) and U.S. Small & Medium Companies (fewer than 1,000 employees), as well as in the UK, Canada, France, and Germany.

The elite eight deserve special recognition for the work they do in the C-suite and the inspiration they stir up in the ranks across the world — especially given how underrepresented women are at the C-level. Meet the highest rated women CEOs dominating every industry from auto to aerospace, fashion to finance.

#21 Enterprise Holdings’ Pamela M. (Pam) Nicholson
96% CEO approval rating

Pamela Nicholson is the CEO of Enterprise Holdings, which includes Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Overseeing annual revenues of $20 billion, more than 97,000 employees and with a 96 percent approval rating, Nicholson is a testament to what makes a great CEO. In a recent interview with Glassdoor, Nicholson weighed in on the growth of women in leadership positions. “While there aren’t as many women in the industry as there could be, we are seeing women’s roles grow and advance. We’re moving forward very quickly in all aspects of the auto industry. For example, we continuously support our partners in the repair industry who focus on recruiting women,” she said. “Within Enterprise, women are well represented in senior leadership positions throughout our company. A major driver of our inclusive culture is the company’s promote-from-within philosophy, which rewards employees based on performance rather than seniority and creates opportunities to quickly advance. It can be a tough process, but it’s also fair, and it’s opening doors for women in every one of our lines of business.”

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#36 In-N-Out Burger’s Lynsi Snyder
94% CEO approval rating

At just 35 years old, Lynsi Snyder is one of the youngest CEOs on the 2017 list. This year, she inherited 100-percent of the shares for In-N-Out, which has 324 restaurants in six states, making her one of the youngest billionaires in the country.  Snyder’s grandparents opened the first In-N-Out in 1948 and she became president of the chain seven years ago. Under her leadership, the fresh, fast food chain has expanded from four states to six while maintaining the classic menu of burgers and fries. “In the business world, I’m much more conservative, much more old-fashioned,” she revealed in a recent interview. “I’m not as much into taking risk… On those personality tests, I come out as a choleric-sanguine, a combination of opposites: an organized, careful leader, but also fun-loving and free-spirited.” And Snyder’s brand of consistency and conservatism has served In-N-Out well.

“How we make our decisions is not looking to the right and left to see what everyone else is doing,” she explained. “It’s just looking forward and doing the same thing that we’ve done in the past, because it has worked. We don’t have plans to change the menu. We don’t have plans to crank up the growth. It’s just kind of doing the same thing and being smart, and everybody doing their job. Like a plane on autopilot. There’s so much momentum, with all the people who’ve been here and have tenure. There’s so much strength, as a whole. So we just keep on doing the same thing, and it runs pretty smoothly.”

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#40 Deloitte’s Cathy Engelbert
94% CEO approval rating

For the second consecutive year, employees have voted Cathy Engelbert as one of the Highest Rated CEOs. One employee offers an insight into why. “Culture is great and managers and execs truly care about their staff and support you. Management, keep doing what you are doing and keep the bar high when hiring- which keeps new hires surrounded by great peers and managers.” When she first came to Deloitte over 30 years ago, there were very few women in upper ranks. Now Engelbert leads the largest professional services organization in the United States with an annual revenue of $17.5 billion and nearly 80,000 professionals. And she never misses an opportunity to be a champion for gender equity. “In an age of exponential change, we need the power of diverse thinking, and we cannot afford to leave any talent untapped,” she wrote in a TIME Magazine editorial. “To take women’s equality from novelty to norm, we need to change narratives at a societal and individual level.”

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#65 General Motors’ Mary Barra
91% CEO approval rating

As the first woman to ever lead a U.S. automaker, Mary Barra knows full well the saying, “Heavy is the head that wears the crown.” Sitting at the helm of GM, Barra navigated her way through a challenging first few years, emerging victorious with $152.4 billion in revenue as of 2015. She pushed GM to release the first affordable, long-range electric car, in record time, beating Tesla. She made the gutsy decision to pull out of Europe to focus on North American and Chinese sales and operations. An investment in Lyft made her visionary, and three years of record earnings made her legendary. Just this month, General Motors said it has finished making 130 self-driving Chevrolet Bolt test vehicles, and Barra announced that GM is the only automaker currently capable of mass-producing self-driving vehicles.

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#73 Fidelity Investments’ Abby Johnson
91% CEO approval rating

Johnson replaced her father, Edward “Ned” Johnson III, and took over as CEO of Fidelity in 2014. Long before becoming President/CEO and reaching a reported net worth of $15.1 billion, she worked summers at Fidelity through college and joined full-time as an analyst in 1988 after receiving a Harvard M.B.A. Climbing the ranks taught her the value of teamwork and collaboration. “In my experience, encouraging a team-oriented culture that is focused on uniting employees behind a shared sense of purpose and a common goal is more effective than offering directives,” she revealed to Glassdoor. “If you and your leadership team are on the same page with this approach, it is much easier to engage employees throughout the firm to meet those collective goals.”

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#93 Progressive Insurance’s Tricia Griffith
89% CEO approval rating

From claims rep to CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Tricia Griffith’s career path is a true testament to Progressive’s culture. She joined Progressive as its Claims representation in 1988 and held several managerial positions in the claims division. Griffith served as the Chief Human Resources Officer of Progressive Casualty Insurance Company since 2002 and also served as its Group President since 2008,  before becoming COO until 2015 and CEO since.  And her ascension is inspiring to other employees at the company. One notes, “Advancement opportunities are there if you want to work for them. Most people do not work in Auto Insurance claims because that is a career goal but if you are fortunate enough to be brought onto the Progressive team you learn to love the company”

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#99 Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson
89% CEO approval rating

Marillyn A. Hewson is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. She previously held a variety of increasingly responsible executive positions with the Corporation, including President and Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin’s Electronic Systems business area. Hewson sits at the head of the +10,000-person aerospace organization that creates technology that enables cars to drive themselves, sends flights to Mars, and creates fusion reactors that produce limitless energy. One of her biggest wins? Solidifying Lockheed Martin’s leadership in military defense technology. As the nation’s largest defense contractor and maker of the world’s most advanced fighter jet, the F-35, Lockheed is one to watch.

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#100 Stitch Fix’s Katrina Lake
89% CEO approval rating

Katrina Lake is the founder and chief executive of Stitch Fix, a personal style service start-up that brought in $730 million in revenue in its 2016 fiscal year. While attending Harvard Business School, the former venture capitalist turned her sights to entrepreneurship and a love of fashion laid the groundwork for success. Her big idea? An accessible personal shopper for those who hated the monotony of shopping. Stitch Fix sends its customers five personalized apparel and accessories items based on size, budget and style.  Starting the business out of her apartment in 2011, she now has 5,000 employees, five clothing warehouses across the U.S, and $42 million in funding. Her advice for other women entrepreneurs? “Be absolutely passionate about the idea,” she said. “You have to live and breathe it. I spent a long time looking at the hunting and fishing space – a huge market that is ripe for disruption. But I’m simply not passionate about hunting and fishing! It’s really hard to start a business if you don’t care about it. At the margin, when it’s 2am, it has to be that passion that pushes you forward.”

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