Perusing the latest round of statistics about women in high-ranking corporate finance jobs can be somewhat discouraging. There were just 44 women CFOs at Fortune 500 companies in 2010, unchanged from 2009. That disparity isn't limited to finance jobs at the top, of course. A recent study from research institute Catalyst shows women are underrepresented in the C-suite overall, holding 14.4% of executive officer positions in 2010. And the gap between the sexes in the business world starts early: in 2009-10, women made up just 38% of MBA graduates, according to AACSB International. However, the accomplishments of the outstanding women financial leaders, annually recognized by Treasury & Risk, serve as an inspiration and a reminder that perseverance and execution count. From issuing debt, negotiating new credit facilities and integrating acquisitions, to de-risking a pension plan and designing a new commodity hedging facility, these women in finance are doing the work that will make a difference to their companies, and to the economy as a whole.
Controller & SVP
Hartford Financial Services Group
As the life and property and casualty insurer focuses on paring its losses from the financial crisis, Bombara's responsibilities include corporate finance, corporate expense, accounting policy, IT spending and the finances of investment unit Hartford Investment Management.
Treasurer, secretary & SVP
Chesapeake Energy Corp.
In 2009, Grigsby's finance team built an innovative commodities hedging facility, backed by natural gas and oil reserves, rather than cash margin, to limit potential liquidity calls, and in 2010, the team arranged a new $4 billion revolving credit facility.
CFO & VP of business management
Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding
Niland led the activities involved in consolidating two Northrop shipbuilding units, including centralizing contract, pricing and accounting policies, and also helped lead the development of a new operating system for the company's Gulf Coast shipyards.
Holly Hess Groos
Treasurer & SVP
Since Hess Groos became Verizon's treasurer in 2009, she has secured an enhanced credit facility and worked on the transition of treasury functions when Verizon sold some assets to Frontier Communications. She also serves as chair of Verizon's insurance captive.