Beyoncé Tops List of 50 Most Powerful Moms

Working Mother has released its Most Powerful Moms list just in time for Mother's Day. And in addition to a cadre of famous names ranging from Beyoncé at No. 1 to Marissa Mayer at No. 27, the magazine spotlights four women in advertising and media. 

Editorial director Jennifer Owens said the project began seven years ago in blocks—Most Powerful Moms in Congress, Most Powerful Moms in STEM—before becoming one annual megalist in 2012.

"Working Mother has been around for 35 years, and it’s always looked at women who are devoted to both their families and their careers," she said. "The list is a reflection of that."

This year, the magazine selected 50 moms in eight categories: Arts/Entertainment; Fashion/Tastemakers; Finance/Business; News/Media/Advertising; Philanthropy, Politics; Retail/Manufacturing; and Tech/Science.

"We have chosen women with at least one child under age 18 who, along with obvious power, share many markers: mental and emotional strength, career courage, the ability to inspire, love of family and the passion to better the world," Owens explained. "It’s a fitting tribute at a time when we celebrate moms everywhere."

Of course, lists like these beg the question, why no roundups of powerful dads? "Do I really have to answer that?" Owens said with a laugh. "OK, because it’s not unusual for men to be in a position of power. Men never get asked about work-life balance. Women are the news here, not men."

Many familiar faces grace the list. The tastemaker category lauds Jenna Lyons, creative director and president of J. Crew, along with Joanna Coles, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan and editorial director of Seventeen. (Lyons has an 8-year-old son, Beckett, and Coles has two teenage sons, Thomas, 16 and Hugo, 14.)

No power-mom list would be complete without Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. She was honored in the tech category with Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg (whose husband passed away suddenly last week).

See which media and advertising leaders also made the competitive roundup:


Susan Wojcicki
CEO, You Tube

"I have the biggest working-mom crush on Susan," Owens said. "She is simply incredible."

Wojcicki has been with Google since its inception, when she rented her garage to its founders. When they hired her as their marketing manager, she was the company’s 16th employee. Since then, Wojcicki has gone on to become svp of advertising and commerce at the company, spearheading products like AdSense and Google Analytics before moving over to YouTube, which she helped Google acquire.

When Adweek spoke to Wojcicki in 2013, she shared her prophetic views on the future of online advertising.

"Advertising is very simple in a lot of ways. Advertisers go where the users go, and users are choosing to spend a lot more time online," she said. "Look at the adoption of tablets. Tablets have beautiful screens and can be interactive, so I think a lot of traditional print is being moved to being read on tablets. And I think we’re moving to much more [Internet]-enabled TV."

Wojcicki is a mother of five.


Sarah Hofstetter
CEO of 360i

Hofstetter joined digital marketing agency 360i in 2005 as svp of brand strategy and emerging media, and quickly worked her way up the ranks from svp to president to her current role as CEO.

When we spoke to her last year for our Women’s Issue, she explained that being a solid creative has nothing to do with your gender.

"If you look at those who are creating the strategy, if you can really get into the mind of the consumer and guide the creatives, the creatives should be able to get into whatever character you're designing," she said. "Good creative should be flexible, so a woman can create for a man and vice versa."

Hofstetter is the mother of a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old.


Carolyn Everson
VP of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook

This is Everson’s first time on the list. "Facebook is running the world," Owens said. "We’re all on it. She’s running this epic global mobile ad sales team while raising two young girls."

Everson’s team brought in $12.47 billion in 2014 (a boost of 58 percent over last year). In October, Everson graced the cover of The Adweek 50 issue. At the time, she said her proudest accomplishment was relaunching the Atlas ad server.

"I am most proud of how the team has rebuilt Atlas to focus on people-based marketing," she said. "Atlas helps marketers serve more relevant advertising across devices, platforms and publishers, and it is able to measure the impact of those ads across devices—down to whether they drove sales."

Everson is mom to 9-year-old twins, Kennedy and Taylor. 


Lisa Utzschneider
Senior Vice President, Sales, Americas, Yahoo!

This is also Utzschneider's first time on the Most Powerful Moms list. "Yahoo stealing Lisa from Amazon was the biggest tech story last year," Owens says. "It really shows just how impressive Lisa’s skills are."

Utzschneider, who was global vp of ad sales at Amazon, wrote an op-ed for Adweek last month, in which she discussed the importance of creating compelling ads for digital videos.

"Today's audiences want quality content, they want to connect with the characters and the story, and they want to laugh or to be moved to tears," she wrote. "And there's no more powerful medium than video to evoke that emotional connection, whether it's the long-form video consumers are watching or the brand ads that accompany that content."

Utzschneider is mom to 7-year-old Tess.