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Women & Power

2014 Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts

The Globe Magazine and The Commonwealth Institute partnered to honor those organizations with the most impressive records of innovation and workplace diversity, as well as revenue and employee numbers.

From left, Jennifer G. Lourie, president, CEO, and owner of State Cleaning Service; Janice P. Guy, president, CEO, and founder of P3I Inc.; and Geeta Aiyer, president and founder of Boston Common Asset Management.

Photograph composites by Josh Andrus; Hair and makeup by Angela Marinis; Photograph retouching by Picturebox Creative

From left, Jennifer G. Lourie, president, CEO, and owner of State Cleaning Service; Janice P. Guy, president, CEO, and founder of P3I; and Geeta Aiyer, president and founder of Boston Common Asset Management.

This is the 13th year that The Commonwealth Institute — a local nonprofit that supports female business leaders — has created the list, and the second year that the Globe Magazine has partnered with the group. View the list as an interactive table.

JENNIFER G. LOURIE

President, CEO, and owner since 1999 of State Cleaning Service (No. 50), a Needham-based building maintenance company started by Lourie’s late father in 1971 

What was one of your most important early leadership lessons?

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To not be afraid to make a difficult (or unpopular) decision. More than likely, you’ll look back and wish you had made the decision sooner.

 Who is your most important mentor?

My father was my mentor. He taught me humility, perseverance — and that I had the power to make my own destiny.

JANICE P. GUY

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President, CEO, and founder of P3I (No. 33), a Hopkinton-based engineering and IT services firm launched in 2000; she also served as a Marine Corps officer for 18 years

 How would you describe your leadership style?

“Take care of my troops!” This is the number one leadership trait all Marines employ, and I brought it into my civilian career. The most important thing is to take care of your people.

 What advice do you give new college grads? 

Be realistic in your job expectations and salary, and get as much relevant work experience during college as possible. If available, take advantage of co-op opportunities.

GEETA AIYER

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President and founder of Boston Common Asset Management (No. 58), a Boston-based firm launched in 2003 that manages investments with a focus on social responsibility

 What was one of your most important early leadership lessons?

Success is a minefield of accomplishments and failures. Take risks, take responsibility. Learn from the journey and lead with integrity.  

What advice do you give new college grads?

Learn skills; work where your passion lies. With success comes responsibility. Give back to your community and to the causes that inspire you.

ANITA RAJAN WORDEN

Photograph composites by Josh Andrus; Hair and makeup by Angela Marinis; Photograph retouching by Picturebox Creative

CEO and cofounder of Solectria Renewables (No. 61 on our list), a manufacturer of solar power inverters in Lawrence since 2005

 How would you describe your leadership style?

I try to lead by democracy, encouraging my team to have input on decisions and guiding them to sound and practical solutions. 

 Who is your most important mentor?

My most important mentor was my father, R.V. Rajan — he was brilliant and demanding and set high expectations. Every day I think about what he would do in my shoes and challenge myself to be better at what I do.

DR. ELIZABETH NABEL

Photograph composites by Josh Andrus; Hair and makeup by Angela Marinis; Photograph retouching by Picturebox Creative

President since 2010 of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (No. 7); also a cardiologist, biomedical researcher, and professor at Harvard Medical School

 Who is your most important mentor?

Dr. Eugene Braunwald, senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has been a mentor to me since 1982, when I was an intern at BWH. His commitment, guidance, intelligence, and high standards have shaped and transformed my life in medicine.

 What advice do you give new college grads?

Welcome change and uncertainty as opportunity. Do not be afraid to experiment. And, yes, failure will be your occasional teacher.

PAULA BENNETT

Photograph composites by Josh Andrus; Hair and makeup by Angela Marinis; Photograph retouching by Picturebox Creative

President and CEO since 2008 of J.Jill (No. 12), a Quincy-based seller of women’s apparel, accessories, and footwear

 What was one of your most important early leadership lessons?

I learned the value of working with and assembling the best teams possible while creating connections across the organization. One person can’t have all the answers, and it’s important to have a culture that supports collaboration and connection to deliver on shared goals.

What advice do you give new college grads?

Stay curious and continue to learn. Choose a career and work that you love, and have fun with it. Learn the importance of teamwork and valuing peoples’ individual talents. And, finally, that personal integrity is of the utmost importance.

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