Geisha Williams, CEO of PG&E. She immigrated from Cuba as a child and first began working for a Miami power company after graduating from college with a degree in engineering. She is the first female and first Latina CEO of PG&E.
"I’m often asked, ‘What does it feel like to be the first Latina CEO of a Fortune 500 company?’ I’ve never thought about it that way. Over the years, I really focused on doing the best job I could, working hard, getting great results and working with my teams. I never thought of myself as a woman leader or Latina leader, I just thought of myself as a leader. And yet there is a special significance with being the first. More important is really asking ourselves what can we do to bring others along."
"I don’t know that there’s anything particular that made me stand out, but there is something I look back in my background that was pretty defining for me and it happened right out of college. I’m the first person in my family to go to college and I’m an immigrant. My aspirations coming out of college weren’t particularly lofty. I wanted a good job with a good company. I had the good fortune, as many of us do, of having a really wonderful mentor early in my career and he said to me one day: ‘What do you want to do some day in your future? What are your long-term aspirations?’ I said maybe be a manager or a supervisor. And he said, ‘Well, no. Long-term?’ I was talking long-term. He said, ‘Geisha, someone has to run this company someday and why not you?’ And those three little words have been with me ever since. They were a bit of a wake-up call. They were a rallying cry."
"When there was a difficult assignment, when there was a tough job that needed to be done, when there was a new opportunity, when there was a new possibility of a promotion, I didn’t shirk away from it. I asked myself why not me?"
BizJournals, Photograph via Fortune