FC: Meg Whitman | The former eBay CEO, California gubernatorial candidate and current HP CEO told Fortune in 2005: "Remember that you can do anything you want to do. Don't let anyone say, 'You're not smart enough... it's too hard... it's a dumb idea... no one has done that before... girls don't do that.' My mom gave me that advice in 1973. And it allowed me to never worry about what others were saying about my career direction."
1: Virginia M. Rometty | Patricia A. Woertz
2: Irene B. Rosenfeld
3: Angela F. Braly As the keynote speaker of Marquette's 10th Annual Business Leaders' Forum Luncheon in 2008, Wellpoint CEO Angela Braly shared her best leadership practices with the audience. "To move an organization forward, to get it from where it is to where it needs to be, you have to live the change you want to see in your organization.," she said. "And you have to do it openly, you have to be visible, and you have to do it enthusiastically." | Indra K. Nooyi
4: Ellen J. Kullman
5: Parents | Carol Meyrowitz
6: Xerox CEO Ursula Burns made history in 2009. Succeeding Anne Mulcahy, Burns was the first African-American female CEO -- and the first recipient of a woman-to-woman handoff -- in the Fortune 500. She stays grounded by staying true to herself. "When it became clear that I would become the CEO of Xerox, Anne Mulcahy said to me, 'It's going to be hard for you anyway, but don't try and be me. You can't try to be me,'" Burns told Fortune editor-at-large Pattie Sellers last May. "And that's one of the things I learned. You can probably be somebody else and follow all your life, but you cannot be somebody else and lead." | Deanna M. Mulligan | Ursula M. Burns
7: Sempra Energy CEO Debra Reed began her college education as a pre-med student, only to realize the cutthroat environment was not for her. She went into business, keeping her distaste for that kind of competitive culture in mind. "There's room for everyone to be successful," she wrote in the New York Times in 2008. As she climbed the corporate ladder, Reed became the boss of men twice her age. She often asked herself, "How would my father react to having a 24-year-old woman giving him instructions on what to do?" That respect for others was a key component to Reed's rise to the top. | Sherilyn McCoy | Sherilyn McCoy
8: Denise M. Morrison | Ilene S. Gordon
9: Heather Bresch | Maggie Wilderotter
10: Gracia C. Martore | Beth Mooney
11: KeyCorp CEO Beth Mooney takes the fact that she's the only female CEO of a top-20 bank very seriously. "As role models, I think we all know that every day in every way, people are watching us... They're particularly aware of how do we conduct ourselves, how do we extend ourselves, and how do we recognize and celebrate other women," she said at the 2011 Women in Banking Conference. That kind of pressure shouldn't intimidate, but inspire. "If somebody hands you a torch, what do you do with it? And I think the answer is easy. You light the way for others to follow
12: A hot spot among retirees, this small city located just north of the California border is staging a comeback. "We now have the lowest [housing] inventory in six years and the strongest buyer traffic in seven years," said Colin Mullane, a real estate broker at Full Circle Real Estate in Medford. | Madera, Calif. | Medford, Ore.
14: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.
16: Mother | Grandfather | Grandmother | Great Grandmother | Great Grandmother | Great Grandfather | Great Grandfather
17: Father | Grandfather | Grandmother | Great Grandmother | Great Grandmother | Great Grandfather | Great Grandfather
19: Great Grandparents | Parents | Grandparents
21: Our Ancestors
22: Parents | Grandparents | Great Grandparents