It might still be a man's world in so many ways but with women already running Germany, Britain and perhaps soon the United States for the first time, the world is increasingly looking fairer... and more feminine.
And the same thing is happening on the Internet. While the people who write code are still overwhelmingly male, many of those using technology to share ideas and generate influence are women. In no particular order, here are eighteen accomplished female influencers who are leading the way across a wide range of markets.
1. Jana Francis
Jana Francis started her career in advertising and marketing in the start-up capital of Silicon Valley. Returning to work from maternity leave, her move into entrepreneurism was driven by a desire to find baby product bargains. With a partner, she set up Steals.com and has led the way in helping others to build businesses in e-commerce.
2. Jessica Northey
Not all influencers are aimed at business-builders. Jessica Northey grew up with country music and now uses social media to introduce country stars and their songs to audiences around the world. For Jessica, holding influence means telling the truth, making it matter and never being boring. She follows that precept to influence the tastes of music-lovers.
3. Dr. Shawne Duperon
Shawne Duperon is a six-time Emmy-award winner who describes herself as a "good gossip researcher." She's spent a decade studying gossip, recently earning her Doctorate in the subject. She examines what causes people to share ideas and solutions. Her Project: Forgive is a non-profit leadership foundation that focuses on forgiveness.
4. Jennifer Walsh
Jennifer Walsh is the founder of the Beauty Bar. Launched in 1998, the channel soon became a series of stores and a weekly TV show launching hundreds of beauty brands. Since selling the company in 2010, Jennifer has been speaking and consulting with small businesses about growth strategies and implementation programs. While a number of women entrepreneurs have built their businesses in beauty and fashion, Jennifer's influence applies to every business owner in every sector.
5. Tamara McCleary
Tamara McCleary's RelationShift marketing method is a set of twelve sessions designed to help entrepreneurs transform their businesses and their lives. Her lessons are drawn from twenty years of business-building during which she learned as much from her struggles as from her successes. Tamara's charismatic delivery amplifies her ability to help brands, explaining how to build relationships to enhance business.
6. Shama Hyder
While many influencers had to feel their way into influencing and adapt themselves to the new communication tools, Shama Hyder is a millennial who grew up with them. She's the CEO of online marketing and digital PR company The Marketing Zen Group, and has written and spoken about "the zen of social media marketing." For other millennials looking to build a digital marketing platform, she's the model to emulate.
7. Sue B. Zimmerman
Sue Zimmerman says that she helps business owners to find success on Instagram but she actually does a lot more than that. As a successful entrepreneur prior to the dawn of Instagram, she helps companies create a complete social media strategy and she leverages her entrepreneurial experience to turn Instagram into a marketing channel.
8. Jen Groover
Jen Groover's breakout success was the Butler Bag, a compartmentalized solution to the chaos that defined most women's handbags. Jen turned that success into a lifestyle brand, and through a PBS special, a book and her Leader Girlz brand, taught young girls how to empower themselves through play. She's a brand consultant, a partner in a new sports management company, and she continues to speak and share her ideas of productivity, leadership and empowerment.
9. Shirley Husar
Shirley Husar has a background in real estate and in technology. She's a Republican party activist and was appointed by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be a board member for the state's geologists and geophysicists. But it's her work as the CEO of Urban Game Changers that allows her to amplify her influence. She encourages people to make a difference in their communities through blogging, videos, social media and more.
10. Ann Handley
Ann Handley's background is in business journalism and editing but as the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, she is one of the Internet's leading experts on content marketing. She knows how to create and manage digital content that builds relationships for organizations and for individuals. Ann was also a co-founder of ClickZ.com, one of the first sources of interactive marketing news.
11. Amy Schmittauer
Amy Schmittauer describes herself as a "vlogger-in-chief." As the host of Savvy Sexy Social, she's setting the standard for YouTube consultants. Her channel has generated nearly 3 million views and her entire portfolio of work on YouTube has created 10 million views for the companies for which she has consulted.
12. Virginia Salas Kastilio
Watch Virginia Salas Kastilio's videos and you might think that she's offering a combination of happiness and performance art... neither of which seems to have much to do with business-building. But as GiniCanBreathe, Kastilio has spearheaded the use of video content and Snapchat for brands. She consults for firms and she works as both an influencer and creator. Hard-headed business-building and artistic freedom can work together.
13. Rachel Martin
This mother of seven has found purpose, and a large audience, in sharing the raw ups and downs of motherhood. As the owner of FindingJoy.net, Rachel Martin's writing inspire moms by pulling off the mask and validating with great transparency and authenticity that motherhood is indeed the world's most challenging, and rewarding, role. Rachel also is partner in Blogging Concentrated, an organization that helps business owners via their podcast and live training events.
14. Lori Ruff
Originally leading the way to helping others leverage LinkedIn, Lori Ruff is now the Chief Brand Officer at ALPFA.org, an organization dedicated to empowering and developing Latino leaders. Her work as an author, speaker and social media evangelist is helping members of this group find their passions and build their own paths to success.
15. Chelsea Krost
Chelsea Krost created her first radio show, Teen Talk Live, when she was just sixteen. The show spread, CBS covered her mission trip to Africa, and she now runs her own television show, The Chelsea Krost Show. Its diet of trends and issues focus on millennials, a group she also addresses in her weekly Twitter chat #MillennialTalk. Even more influential than the topics of discussion though are the opportunities that Chelsea has shown are available through today's broadcasting channels.
16. Ayelet Noff
Anyone who has ever tried to make content go viral can only admire people who have set themselves that goal and made it happen. Especially when the content is an app that does... nothing. That's what Ayelet Noff achieved with the app Yo. As the founder and joint-CEO of PR firm Blonde 2.0, she's now showing the world how today's public relations work.
17. Olga Kay
Olga Kay's first career was as a circus juggler. She moved to the U.S. from Russia to work for Ringling Brothers but found that YouTube offered more opportunities and bigger audiences than she could find in a big tent. Her first videos showed off her juggling skills but soon she was branching into the comedy and sketches that turned her into a YouTube celebrity. From there, it was only a short step to her own branded clothing line, Mooshwalks, and a leader in communicating opportunities available to young, female entrepreneurs and content creators.
18. Kim Coles
Kim Coles is an actress who has appeared in shows as varied as Living Single, Frasier and Six Feet Under. She also presents a talk show celebrating African-American women and she's using comedy to deliver inspiration through a program called Open the G.I.F.T.S. Her talks, events and products help others to find their talents and feel gratitude for their abilities.