Over the last few years, America has seen a surge of women seizing power. From the Women’s March after Trump’s election to the fight to end the wage gap to the #MeToo movement, women are finally taking the lead in important conversations.
This is proving especially true in the business world. Long gone are the days when women felt confined to being housewives if that wasn’t their dream. We now live in a world where, on August 1, 25 women will be CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
And this past Thursday one woman made history. Beth Ford just accepted a promotion from Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Land O’Lakes Inc. to CEO. Not only is Beth a woman, but she is an openly gay woman. She will be the first openly gay woman, and one of only three openly gay people, currently serving as CEOs of their Fortune 500 companies.
Ms. Ford smashed through the glass ceiling and took to Twitter to express her gratitude.
Humbled and honored to lead this great co-op. Can't wait to get to work! https://t.co/XV5MlcfjlQ
— Beth Ford (@BethFordLOL) July 26, 2018
When asked about serving as a role model, Ford told Fortune:
If it gives someone encouragement and belief that they can be their authentic self and live their life and things are possible, than that’s a terrific moment.
The internet is thrilled with the news.
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) July 27, 2018
Very happy to see this announcement. Congratulations!
— Susan Bordson (@susanbordson) July 26, 2018
Fall semester I went and listened to a lady from Land O Lakes talk and after I went and spoke to her for 15min. What she had to say drove me to work at LoL
Her name is Beth Ford and was just announced as the new CEO of Land O Lakes inc. Look her up she’s a major BA
— Shayna Stevermer (@ShaynaStevermer) July 26, 2018
— The Gayly (@thegayly) July 27, 2018
The future of @LandOLakesInc is in great hands with the appointment of @BethFordLOL as President & CEO. Her leadership to our committed employees and customers will help this progressive cooperative continue to #feedhumanprogress. Congratulations Beth! https://t.co/GE9G6hKYkl
— Matt Carstens (@mattcars1) July 27, 2018
— Mitch Weiler (@MitchWeiler) July 27, 2018
I love when barriers fall and great leaders are given a chance to lead!
Beth Ford becomes the first openly gay women to head a Fortune 500 company.
Hopefully she will won't be the only one for long. https://t.co/01QK3l85EO
— Arne Duncan (@arneduncan) July 30, 2018
Glass ceilings are meant to be broken & @bethfordlol is showing us all how to shatter the roof off the patriarchy!!
Just days ago Land O' Lakes, named Beth Ford its new president and CEO. Beth is the first openly gay woman to ever run a #Fortune500!! #LWTSQUAD pic.twitter.com/KbiGzQWR6z
— Lesbians Who Tech + Allies (@lesbiantech) July 30, 2018
YAS, BUTTER QUEEN.
— Stephen J Praetorius (@praetoriusBIG) July 30, 2018
It's about time.
— Rosemarie Villarreal (@Rose52413) July 29, 2018
Congrats’s to Beth Ford. A recognized business leader and member of the LBGT community. A role model for those aspiring to a career in business where they can bring their whole selves to work. Great to see at Land O’ Lakes the cream rises to the top. https://t.co/Ats88LWgVR
— R. Bruce McDonald (@bruceyyz) July 29, 2018
Ford lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her spouse Jill Schurtz and their three teenage children. She is also Land O’Lakes’ ninth CEO and first ever female to hold the position.