From the November 2009 issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

High Hopes Amid the Crisis

Twenty-five finance and treasury leaders who just happen to be women.

While the ill winds of the financial crisis pummeled the global economy, women executives seem to have held fast, losing little ground in their steady climb to the C-suite of the enterprise hierarchy. Data from research firm Catalyst shows that 15.7% of corporate officers were women last year, almost unchanged from the level in 2007. The gap between women's and men's wages is holding steady as well, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, which found full-time female employees earned 77.1% of what full-time male employees did in 2008, versus 77.8% in 2007. Perhaps new opportunities engendered by the recovery will provide a needed boost in women's somewhat stalled progress. Surely, as this list once again proves, there is no shortage of female talent in finance departments. And while 61% of the women surveyed by Treasury & Risk say women executives do face a glass ceiling in corporate America, 30% describe their own career prospects as very good or excellent, and another 35% say their prospects are good.

Janet Yeomans
Treasurer and vice president, 3M
Yeomans started her career at 3M as its pension fund manager, and is in her second stint as treasurer, after an interlude spent running the diversified manufacturer's mergers and acquisitions team.

Laurel Meissner
Global controller and senior vice president, Aon
Meissner's expertise in accounting, reporting and controls is facilitating Aon's ability to make the best decisions. Before joining Aon, she served as chief accounting officer at Motorola.

Melissa Hall
Senior vice president of finance, Assurant
Hall has been an important contributor to the specialty insurer's financial and tax strategies since signing on as its director of taxation in 1994. She's also responsible for the tax aspects of Assurant's enterprise risk management program.

Danielle Cupps
Director of corporate development, Boeing
Since 2006, Cupps has led the aircraft manufacturer's acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures, including its purchases of Digital Receiver Technology, Vought Aircraft Industries' South Carolina manufacturing plant and half of Global Aeronautica.

Virginia Seggerman
Controller and vice president, CDW
Seggerman has focused on improving the technology product and services provider's working capital management, controlling its costs and enhancing travel and entertainment expense management.

Patricia Yarrington
CFO and vice president, Chevron
Yarrington served in managerial and finance positions at the oil giant, including stints as vice president for policy and public affairs and president of Chevron Canada, before being named CFO this year.

Mary Campbell
Global head of cash and trade operations, Deutsche Bank
As head of the team handling the processing of all major currencies, Campbell implemented the SEPA and Target 2 models, put in place new global payments platforms and developed effective organizational responses to the recent market turmoil.

Lynn Good
CFO and group executive, Duke Energy
When Good was named to the top finance spot at Duke Energy in June, the company cited the "leadership and vision" she had shown in her previous role as president of its commercial businesses.

Donna Inch
Finance director, customer service division, Ford
Inch has P&L controllership responsibilities for the sales, distribution and logistics for service parts throughout North America. She also plays a big role in the car company's campus recruiting.

Sabrina Simmons
CFO and executive vice president, Gap
Simmons has worked to improve the retail chain's fiscal discipline. Her team's decision in 2002 to build the Gap's cash reserves served the company well in last year's downturn. Simmons has also worked to improve the Gap's merchandise margins.

Ronni Horrillo
Assistant treasurer, Google
Since joining Google in 2003, Horrillo has worked on the technology company's 2004 initial public offering, the development of its transferable stock option program and its option exchange program.

Deb Thomas
CFO, Hasbro
Thomas served as the toy company's head of corporate finance and as its controller before she was named to the top finance position this year.

Kathleen Winters
Corporate controller and vice president, Honeywell
Before being appointed controller this year, Winters improved Honeywell's processes for the reporting and analysis of revenue, working capital and other metrics in her previous position as vice president of business analysis and planning.

Leslie Culbertson
Director of finance and vice president, Intel
As head of Intel's finance and accounting function, Culbertson oversees about 2,300 employees in 30 countries. Earlier in her career at Intel, she developed its Sarbanes-Oxley controls processes.

Denise Ramos
CFO and senior vice president, ITT
Ramos helps set ITT's strategic direction in addition to overseeing financial management. Before joining ITT, she was treasurer at Yum and CFO at KFC, and spent 21 years at Atlantic Richfield.

Carolyn Handlon
Global treasurer and executive vice president, Marriott International
The third-party financing Handlon arranged for owners of Marriott hotels has contributed to the five-fold increase in the chain's rooms. She has overseen more than $8 billion in borrowings and also developed a multibillion hedging program.

Vanessa Wittman
CFO and executive vice president, MMC
Wittman steered MMC through last year's turbulence by raising capital to strengthen the balance sheet. She's also working to break down walls between the finance groups at MMC's units.

Marta Stewart
Treasurer and vice president, Norfolk Southern
Stewart, who joined the railroad in 1983, brings her comprehensive knowledge of its finances and of the railroad industry to her position as treasurer.

Tessa Hilado
Treasurer and senior vice president of finance, PepsiCo
When Hilado joined PepsiCo earlier this year, the company cited her 20 years of finance expertise. She previously served as treasurer at Schering-Plough and assistant treasurer at General Motors.

Loretta Cangialosi
Controller and senior vice president, Pfizer
As controller, Cangialosi has promoted the role of continuous improvement and set the direction for the standardization of Pfizer's processes and systems worldwide. Most recently she led the finance integration planning for its pending acquisition of Wyeth.

Mary Ann Sigler
CFO, Platinum Equity
Sigler is responsible for the capital that's deployed in each of the investments of Platinum, which was one of the most active private equity firms in the first half of this year.

Janice Fukakusa
CFO and chief administrative officer, RBC
In her role heading both finance and administration for Canada's largest bank, Fukakusa is one of the executives responsible for setting RBC's strategic direction at the same time she oversees its day-to-day operating activities.

Laura Wright
CFO and senior vice president of finance,
Southwest Airlines
Wright led the team that implemented the fuel hedging program that helped Southwest save on fuel costs earlier in this decade. As its CFO since 2004, she has kept the airline growing through a rocky period for the industry.

Cindy Wang
Global co-head, treasury systems and
operations, Toyota Financial Services
Since arriving at TFS in 2005, Wang has reworked its enterprise cash management practices, including moving the auto lender from no straight-through processing to 100% straight-through processing and implementing a centralized model for banking relationships.

Robin Forbis
Senior vice president, global finance
transformation, Wal-Mart Stores
Forbis heads a team that is transforming the retailer's finance function by implementing new processes and systems in Wal-Mart's units around the globe. Earlier, as part of the U.S. finance group, she enhanced daily P&L forecasting.

To see the complete list, including photos, click here.


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