100 years of power

From Mary Pickford to Carly Fiorina, the most powerful businesswomen by decade.

Mary Gindhart Roebling (1905-1994)
Mary Gindhart Roebling (1905-1994)
President and Chairman, Trenton Trust

She married the boss, then became one. Roebling was a secretary - albeit one who had taken courses at the Wharton School - when she wed Siegfried Roebling (grandson of the Roeblings who built the Brooklyn Bridge) in 1931.

After his sudden death in 1936, she inherited his substantial stock holdings in Trenton Trust and his post as director. The following year she became president; Time magazine described her as "probably the prettiest bank president in the land."

By 1950, she had quintupled the bank's asssets; in 1958, she became the first woman to be elected a governor of the American Stock Exchange. Trenton Trust merged with the National State Bank of Elizabeth, N.J. in 1972. Roebling served as chairman of the combined entity until 1984 and remained Chairman Emeritus until her death in 1994. Roebling also served on a variety of government, civic and charitable boards, and was a staunch advocate of equal rights and the promotion of women in business.

"I did nothing but work," she once said of her career. "I made work my hobby. I was lucky that way."

Mary Pickford

C.J. Walker

Elizabeth Arden

Lila Acheson Wallace

Mary Gindhart Roebling

Olive Ann Beech

Margaret Rudkin

Ida Rosenthal

Ruth Handler

Estée Lauder

Katharine Graham

Catherine Cleary

Linda Wachner

Carly Fiorina
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