Buffalo, NY (WBEN) As we take a look at the most powerful women in the world and in Western New York, we're also wondering how tough it is for the business leaders in Western New York to make it to the top.
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Andrew Rudnick, CEO
Buffalo Niagara Partnership
"I think, while we've advanced, there's still enough of a glass ceiling that it prevents our success in ways men don't struggle with," says Mary Beth Vogt, a partner with Peak of Success and member of the National Association of Women Business Owners Buffalo Niagara board of directors.
"Women are seen as secondary when they should be viewed as just as primary as men," she adds.
Vogt believes domestic responsibiliies are one of the reasons why women are sometimes passed over. "When women have to step aside to handle family roles, they're looked down upon. Therefore, their male counterparts are considered more dedicated and professional. But the same men have women who step aside from the professional world to take on the home responsibility," contends Vogt.
She says if a man and a woman are equally skilled, the man will likely be chosen because the man doesn't have those responsibilities.
Vogt says it's empowering for women to come together and share struggles and learn how to overcome obstacles, which the association helps provide. "It's also good to use role models that other women were able to succeed with the same obstacles they had," says Vogt.
Who Is the Most Powerful Woman in Western New York?
Experts say the second tier down is filled with strong behind the scenes executives in banking and health care, but of the top 25 Buffalo area companies (as ranked by Business First) none are headed by women.
A high profile top tier list of the area's most powerful would have to include
School Superintendent Pamela Brown | Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio | BPO Maestro Joanne Falletta | Zoo President Donna Fernandes | Erie Legislature Chair Betty Jean Grant | Visit Buffalo Niagara CEO Dottie Gallagher Cohen | Congresswoman Kathy Hochul | Kim Pegula | Mindy Rich, Rich Products | Margaret Sullivan, The Buffalo News
Which One is THE MOST POWERFUL? WBEN wants your vote
We'll update the balloting all morning Thursday and announce a final winner on Friday. VOTE HERE
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From Forbes: The Most Powerful Women in The World
Forbes today announced its 9th annual ranking of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (No. 1, at left ) topping this year’s list She is followed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at No. 2, and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at No. 3
Members of the 2012 ranking represent women in technology (a new category this year), politics, business, media, entertainment, non-profits, as well as billionaires – all ranked by money, media presence and impact. The 25 CEOs alone oversee companies with $984 billion in revenues. The women represent 28 countries, have an average age of 55, and a combined 90 million Twitter followers.
“This year’s Power Women exert influence in very different ways, and to very different ends, and all with very different impacts on the global community,” said Moira Forbes, President & Publisher, ForbesWoman.
“Whether leading multi-billion-dollar companies, governing countries, shaping the cultural fabric of our lives, or spearheading humanitarian initiatives, collectively these women are changing the planet in profoundly powerful and dynamic ways,” Forbes said
Sixteen women join the list for the first time, including: Brazilian CEO Maria das Gracas Silva Foster of Petrobras (No. 20); Entertainer Jennifer Lopez (No. 38); Billionaire Philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs (No. 49); and WikiMedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner (No. 70). Twenty-one women dropped off list this year, including Sallie Krawcheck, Carol Bartz and Michele Bachmann. There are 15 women in Tech, including: Sheryl Sandberg (No. 10) of Facebook, Virginia Rometty (No. 15) of IBM, Ursula Burns (No. 17) of Xerox, Meg Whitman (No. 18) of HP and Marissa Mayer (No. 21) of Yahoo.
Entertainer Lady Gaga (No. 14) is the youngest on the list, at age 26; Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (No. 26) is the oldest at 86. In her most recent sit-down interview with the media, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano (No. 9), is interviewed by Moira Forbes about her career, culture, what keeps her up at night, and much more. This and more video interviews are available on Forbes.com.
The Top 15:
|1||Angela Merkel||Chancellor, Germany|
|2||Hillary Rodham Clinton||Secretary of State, U.S.|
|3||Dilma Rouseff||President, Brazil|
|4||Melinda Gates||Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, U.S.|
|5||Jill Abramson||Executive Editor, The New York Times, U.S.|
|6||Sonia Gandhi||President, Indian National Congress Party, India|
|7||Michelle Obama||First Lady, U.S.|
|8||Christine Lagarde||Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, U.S.|
|9||Janet Napolitano||Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S.|
|10||Sheryl Sandberg||COO Facebook, U.S.|
|11||Oprah Winfrey||Media Mogul, U.S.|
|12||Indra Nooyi||CEO, PepsiCo, U.S.|
|13||Irene Rosenfeld||CEO, Kraft, U.S.|
|14||Lady Gaga||Entertainer, U.S|
|15||Virginia Rometty||CEO, IBM, U.S.|
For the complete ranking, methodology, videos and more, visit: www.forbes.com/power-women.