Before Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg became the faces of female leadership in Silicon Valley, there was Carly Fiorina. She stepped into the CEO job at Hewlett-Packard in 1999, the first woman to run a Fortune 20 company. Fiorina famously declared that there was no glass ceiling. By 2005, when she was pushed out after a rocky tenure, Fiorina had a very different view. She’s since penned a memoir, ran for U.S. Senator from California, and launched the One Woman Initiative to empower women in the Muslim world.
So what does Fiorina, 58, make of Mayer, chief executive officer of Yahoo!, halting employee telecommuting and Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, campaigning to have women “lean in” and stick with their careers? I caught up with Fiorina on Feb. 27 in New York, where she gave the annual leadership lecture for search firm Harvey Nash.