It should come as no surprise, then, that when Fortune asked the women on the ranking about the one item they always have on them, a number of the executives cited their phones. In fact, cell phones were the most popular item, with eight women saying the device is a must-have at all times.
“I’m never without my phone,” says IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. “It’s important to be in constant contact with your clients and the marketplace.”
Phones aren’t just for keeping up with business, however, PG&E CEO Geisha Williams points out: “It’s a lifeline to my work and to my family.”
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Some Fortune MPWs are practical, carrying around items that help get many women get through the workday. These include hairbands (Microsoft CFO Amy Hood), dental floss (NBCUniversal chairman Bonnie Hammer), and an extra pair of shoes (Reynolds American CEO Debra Crew always has “a great pair of high heels,” while J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management CEO Mary Callahan Erdoes always has her running sneakers).
Others are more sentimental: Bank of America vice chairman Anne Finucane keeps her mother’s pin with her at all times, Synchrony Financial CEO Margaret Keane carries around her father’s badge, and Johnson & Johnson company group chairman Jennifer Taubert keeps a small stuffed animal with a big backstory:
One evening, I was preparing at home for an important presentation, and my son could tell I was a bit nervous. He brought me the stuffed animal and told me it would bring me luck the next day. The next day the presentation went well – and I was promoted to my first vice president role. I knew enough to keep that good luck charm with me! Ten years later my son faced a serious health issue. As he went into surgery, I told him that it was time for the good luck charm to work for him and that I would keep it with me in the waiting room. My son is a healthy, thriving college student now, and the stuffed animal is still in my bag. It’s a reminder of the importance of family love and support throughout our lives – and for me, a reminder to be grateful every day.