These four pioneers played a significant role in making O.C. the business hub it is today. In doing so, they helped women from throughout the county – including the 20 profiled in this cover story – strive for success as entrepreneurs, business professionals, leaders and role models.
The businesswoman’s climb to the top has been gradual but significant – from a segregated workstation during the 1800s to the mid-20th century secretarial pool to the executive suite of 2010. And Orange County is not short in its list of trailblazers – even today.
Women are standing at the helm of the Orange County Business Council, serving on the Board of Supervisors and leading the Sheriff’s Department. The region is abundant with women who are leading companies, agencies, nonprofits and movements of all types, which is what makes our annual selection of 20 Women To Watch so daunting. It’s tough to choose just 20.
But we don’t often stop to think about the role women have played in shaping the county’s business community – and nurturing it into the hub of technology and commerce that it is today.
“Traditionally when people thought business, they thought businessman,” says Carrie Lane, an assistant professor at Cal State Fullerton, specializing in American Studies. “We are only now, in the last 40 years, opening the definition to include women.”
A woman of firsts
Among the trailblazers is Lucy Dunn, 57, who became the first female president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council in 2005, a post she still holds today. Dunn was twice named among OC METRO’s Women to Watch in 2007 and 2009, and earned a spot on our Hot 25 list in 2000.