Power women CFOs – Fortune’s Most Powerful Women

Updated: Oct 05, 2014 12:49 PM UTC | Originally published: Oct 10, 2013

Patricia (Pat) Yarrington<\/h1>\nYarrington has played the long game at Chevron. She joined the company in 1980 after earning her MBA at Northwestern, and spent three decades climbing the ranks to the CFO spot in 2009. One of her core business beliefs, she said in a recent speech, has been persistence. \"Take the long view,\" she said. \"Don't get caught up worrying about climbing the career ladder as fast as you can.\" The fruits of her patience? One of the most important jobs at the country's second-largest oil company, and the fourth highest paid.Courtesy of Chevron

Patricia (Pat) Yarrington

Yarrington has played the long game at Chevron. She joined the company in 1980 after earning her MBA at Northwestern, and spent three decades climbing the ranks to the CFO spot in 2009. One of her core business beliefs, she said in a recent speech, has been persistence. "Take the long view," she said. "Don't get caught up worrying about climbing the career ladder as fast as you can." The fruits of her patience? One of the most important jobs at the country's second-largest oil company, and the fourth highest paid.

Susan McFarland<\/h1>\nIn 2011, McFarland landed what seemed from the outside to be an unenviable job. She came on as the third post-bailout CFO at Fannie Mae as the troubled mortgage giant was hemorrhaging cash. Since the bank entered conservatorship, it has cost taxpayers more than $85 billion. Last year, though, Fannie Mae began to turn a profit. In the second quarter of this year, it pulled in $10 billion, its sixth consecutive quarter of not losing money. Photo: Katherine Frey\/The Washington Post\/Getty

Susan McFarland

In 2011, McFarland landed what seemed from the outside to be an unenviable job. She came on as the third post-bailout CFO at Fannie Mae as the troubled mortgage giant was hemorrhaging cash. Since the bank entered conservatorship, it has cost taxpayers more than $85 billion. Last year, though, Fannie Mae began to turn a profit. In the second quarter of this year, it pulled in $10 billion, its sixth consecutive quarter of not losing money.