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10 Women Changing the Landscape of Leadership

Source | | Jessica Bennett

Verónica Pascual Boé, of Spain, recalls being asked by customers early in her engineering career: Can I speak to the man in charge?

“At first I got angry,” she said. “But then I discovered it was quite fun to say things like, ‘I promise you will not waste your time’” — and mean it.

Ismahane Elouafi, of Morocco, spent three years training to be a fighter pilot — until the military halted her program, believing that women were not equipped for the job.

“I was 17, and found it really unjust, really unacceptable,” Ms. Elouafi said. “Why could I not do what a man could do?”

Today, Ms. Boé is an aerospace engineer, leading a company that builds driverless vehicles. Ms. Elouafi went on to study agriculture and genetics, recently becoming the first chief scientist of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Each of them, in her own way, is upending norms in fields historically dominated by men.

A growing number of women are also breaking barriers in fields like finance, science and technology. And while equality in these industries won’t happen overnight — women still account for about a third of those in scientific research and development — they are working hard to create a path that may be easier for the next generation.

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