Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Fiorina enters 2016 White House race

Former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina joins a crowded Republican field of candidates entering the 2016 presidential race.

NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, UNITED STATES (NBC) – Former Hewlett-Packard Co Chief Executive Carly Fiorina announced on Monday (May 4) she is running for president, becoming the only woman in the pack of Republican candidates for the White House in 2016.

Once one of the most powerful females in the American corporate world, Fiorina registers near the bottom of polls of the dozen or so Republican hopefuls and has never held public office.

Fiorina, 60, was forced to resign from HP in 2005 as the tech company struggled to digest a $19 billion merger with Compaq.

She has attracted warm receptions at events in the early voting state of Iowa where she is positioning herself as a conservative, pro-business Republican highly critical of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Fiorina argues that her gender would be an advantage in any general election contest with Clinton, as it would dilute the Democratic front-runner’s claim that she has the best hope of becoming America’s first woman president.

A breast cancer survivor who lost a stepdaughter to drug addiction, Fiorina is a multimillionaire who has known adversity.

Around the time of her ouster from HP she was derisively dubbed the “anti-Steve Jobs” by one respected tech news website, though the Compaq merger was eventually seen as a success.

Fiorina’s attempts to kick start a political career have been rocky.

She worked as an aide in John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and caused a stir with comments about then vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s inexperience.

Fiorina lost the election for a U.S. Senate seat in California to Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer in 2010, failing to benefit from a wave of pro-Republican sentiment nationally.

In the 2016 race, she will promote the fact that she is not a “professional politician” as a virtue that would help her shake up the U.S. political system.

On policy, she has called for the 2010 “Dodd-Frank” Wall Street oversight law to be scrapped.

She wants the United States to take a tougher line against Russia over its behavior in Ukraine and keep sanctions on Iran until it allows full and unfettered inspections to its nuclear program.