37 of 50
37. Linda Hudson
President and CEO
BAE Systems (BAESY)
2009 rank: 43
Age: 60

Since joining BAE almost four years ago the engineer's trajectory has led her straight to the top. In October 2009 she was named CEO, making her the first female to head a major U.S. defense company.

NEXT: Meredith Whitney
Last updated September 30 2010: 2:47 PM ET
25 Highest-paid women Which corporate women raked it in - and how much did they earn? More
The D.C. power list Meet the women calling the shots in Washington. More
Global power brokers These female executives are on top of the world. More