Indra Nooyi among 18 women leading Fortune 500

Indra Nooyi among 18 women leading Fortune 500

Soft drink major Pepsico's Indian born CEO Indra Nooyi is one of the 18 women who have shattered the glass ceiling to lead America's 500 largest corporations, according to Fortune magazine's latest ranking.

Nooyi, who leads the 41st biggest company in America, is listed fourth among top women executives by the leading US business magazine. She "has overseen a shift in focus from soft drinks into less profitable, albeit healthier, snack foods market in recent years,"

Others on the list that includes more women CEOs than ever before are Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard (10th) and Ginni Rometty of IBM (19th), both of whom started within the last year.

Also on the list are Patricia Woertz of agricultural processors Archer Daniels Midland, Irene Rosenfeld who heads up Kraft Foods and Ursula Burns who is CEO at Xerox and Sherilyn McCoy at Avon.

Rometty is IBM's first female CEO and Xerox chief Ursula Burns is the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 company. The top five female CEOs on the list all held positions in strategic planning before being appointed.

There are an additional 21 female CEOs in the Fortune 501-1000, some managing steel, oil and energy companies.About 10 percent of the top 500 US companies, and almost 40 percent of Canada's 500 largest companies have no women on their boards, according to Catalyst, a nonprofit research organization advocating for more women in business.

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