5 Trail-Blazing Businesswomen

A woman’s place is in the executive’s office, but that wasn't always possible. These five business women started chipping away at the glass ceiling in the 1700s and paved the way for the many powerful women in business today.

1 of 5 Eliza Lucas Pinckney (1722-1793)

Eliza Pinckney got an early start at management at the age of sixteen, operating her family’s South Carolina plantations due to her father’s naval deployment and her mother’s death. The desire for indigo can be attributed to Pinckney's botanical experimentation with the foreign crop, which originated from Antigua; the blue dyeing plant was South Carolina’s second most profitable crop until the introduction of cotton. Although she was married in 1744, Pinckney didn’t have to trade her career for childrearing. She even dabbled in espionage during the American Revolution!

(image via Gibbes Museum of Art)

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