TITLE: CEO AND PRESIDENT, SHI INTERNATIONAL
IMPACT: WITH A NET WORTH OF $1.2 BILLION, THAI LEE IS ONE OF ONLY 17 SELF-MADE FEMALE BILLIONAIRES IN THE U.S. The daughter of a Korean economist, Lee grew up in Korea and moved to the U.S. with her older sister to attend high school and Amherst College, graduating in 1980. Lee returned to Korea to save money for business school, working at an auto parts maker, before coming back to earn her MBA at Harvard in 1985. Lee always aspired to own her own business. After gaining valuable experience at Procter & Gamble and American Express, Lee (with her then husband) purchased software reseller and IT provider Software House in 1989 for less than $1 million, changing its name to SHI International. With a majority stake in the company and as cofounder and CEO, Lee has grown the business to $6.8 billion in revenue. SHI boasts 3,000 employees globally and 17,000 customers including AT&T, Boeing and Johnson & Johnson. The largest woman-owned business in the U.S., SHI has posted positive sales growth every year, with 14 percent growth recorded for 2015.