As part of our ongoing Female Forces series to celebrate Women’s History Month (March), we’re highlighting some of the leading women across the consumer products industry.

Over the past few decades, women have been making major strides in every industry, and female leaders are shattering glass ceilings and achieving serious professional gains.

In 2019, it’s no longer a surprise to see a woman at the helm of a successful business, yet when it comes to large companies, women are still vastly underrepresented in leadership roles: in 2018, only 4.8 percent of Fortune 500 companies were run by female CEOs. Climbing the corporate ladder all the way to the top can still be a challenge for women, but these female leaders in the CPG industry are paving the way for the next generation to follow in their footsteps.

Maggie Timoney1. Maggie Timoney: CEO, Heineken USA
In 2018, Maggie Timoney became the first female executive of a top five U.S. beer company, and in this male-dominated industry, she insists on being judged by her results. Previously, she worked as the sales supervisor for New York’s Sound Distributing Corporation, and after working as the CEO and Managing Director of Heineken Ireland, she was ready to take on the American market.

With increased competition from the wine, spirits, and even cannabis industries, she believes that it was the perfect time for Heineken USA to bring in some fresh perspectives and start thinking outside the box to drive sales back up.

Emily Weiss2. Emily Weiss: Founder and CEO, Glossier
Emily Weiss is sitting on top of a beauty empire, and building her wildly popular cosmetics brand, Glossier, all started with her blog, Into the Gloss. Weiss has always been very particular about the products she loves, and she began Into the Gloss to share her interest in cosmetics and skincare. Eventually, it blossomed into Glossier, her own direct-to-consumer beauty company. Now, Into the Gloss functions as the editorial outlet for Glossier, where the team can connect with customers on a personal level. Weiss’s focus is on growing Glossier with her audience — she has always viewed the brand’s development as an ongoing, collaborative effort.

Michele Buck3. Michele Buck: CEO, The Hershey Company
With 25 years of experience in the CPG industry under her belt, Michele Buck is making an impact as the first female CEO of The Hershey Company. She joined the company in 2005, where she gradually began working her way up the ranks until she earned the title of CEO. She previously worked as the Chief Operating Officer at Hershey, overseeing the company’s operations in Central and South America in addition to her responsibilities in the North American offices.

She is now one of 24 women serving as a CEO at Fortune 500 company, and she says that the secret to her success can be summed up with two words: “hard work.”

Carisa Janes4. Carisa Janes: Founder and CEO, Hourglass Cosmetics
Carisa Janes began Hourglass Cosmetics with the personal goal of creating cosmetics that doubled as skincare — she wanted to offer non-comedogenic products that would leave the skin glowing even after taking them off. After working on product development at Urban Decay and starting her own consulting firm, she went on to formulate a line of oil-free makeup with protective SPF and anti-aging ingredients. She originally partnered with Barney’s to get Hourglass off the ground, and her products landed on the shelves at Sephora in 2006. The cruelty-free brand is now carried by more than 800 stores globally.

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