Hear them roar: Global 500 women CEOs

Powerful women in business have enjoyed several victories over the past 12 months. Here's a look at the women CEOs whose companies have made this year's Global 500 list and how they made it to where they are today.

Patricia A. Woertz
Company: Archer Daniels Midland
Position: CEO
Global 500 Rank: 122

Western-Pennsylvanian Patricia Woertz was interested in the corporate world from an early age.

"Mom worked as a school librarian, and she felt summers were for education," Woertz told Fortune in 2006. Spending the sweaty vacation days in gems like a Heinz ketchup plant or a U.S. Steel mill, she found the production process fascinating.

Fast forward to 1974. Woertz graduated from Penn State University with a degree in accounting. She became a consultant at Ernst & Young in Pittsburgh and moved to Gulf Oil several years later.

After Gulf and Chevron merged in 1984, Woertz created many new contacts and eventually made a move to Chevron, taking charge of the company's "downstream" operation.

Ready for a CEO position, but realizing that then-Chevron CEO David O'Reilly was several years from retiring, she stepped down from her position in February 2006.

The following April, Tom Neff of Spencer Stuart called Woertz and discussed a CEO opportunity at ADM. The rest is history.

As CEO, Woertz has led ADM while serving on the boards of directors of Procter & Gamble and the U.S.-China Business Council. Oh, and she's a mother to three children.

By Colleen Leahey, reporter - Last updated August 01 2011: 5:01 PM ET
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Wal-Mart tops the Fortune Global 500 for the second year in a row. See the full list of the world's largest corporations, including detailed company profiles and contact information.

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