fbpx
 In 2019 Content Series, Media, PR Mistakes, Public Relations, Thought Leadership

Late last week, Forbes published its list of America’s 100 Most Innovative Leaders, and the rankings have since faced intense backlash. Why? The list included 99 men and exactly one woman.

The team at BAM Communications compiled our own list of 99 diverse, barrier-breaking women that the Forbes list failed to recognize, along with the sole woman that they did identify. From C-suite execs at Fortune 500 companies to small biz founders and entrepreneurs, these incredible women inspire us each and every day and we’re proud to call them our most innovative.


1. Tiffany Pham 

Company: Mogul

Handle: @tifftpham

Mogul has reshaped how organizations across 196 countries help females reach their goals via a productivity platform never seen before in the workplace.

 

2. Sophia Baik 

Company: CodeSignal

Handle: N/A

Sophia Baik is Co-founder and VP of Operations at CodeSignal, a technical assessment platform dedicated to helping companies #GoBeyondResumes in tech recruiting. Prior to co-founding CodeSignal, Sophia started her career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers before gaining experience in business intelligence and product management at tech companies such as Wayfair, Zynga, and Beepi. Sophia earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management and a BA in Economics from Carleton College.

 

3. Mauri Lawler 

Company: EIR Healthcare

Handle: @maurilawler

Mauri Lawler has over 25 years of professional experience in healthcare, IT implementation and team building. Mauri has previously fulfilled senior leadership and managerial roles in nursing and global healthcare implementation services across organizations such as Einstein Medical Center, the University of Pennsylvania, Holy Redeemer Health Services, Siemens, Cerner and EMD Serono (Merck KGaA. )Currently, Mauri serves as the first Chief Clinical Officer of EIR Healthcare.

 

4. Kim Swift

Company: Former video game developer at Valve / Currently at
Amazon

Handle: @K2theSwift

Female game designers have typically had a difficult time in the industry, particularly with the Gamergate controversy, which saw notable figures like Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn subjected to torrents of sexist abuse at the hands of internet trolls. Kim Swift is a renowned games designer, best known for her work at video game developer and distributor Valve. While there, she designed Portal, the immensely popular first-person puzzle-platform game, which has won multiple awards for its innovative gameplay and design. Swift also designed Left 4 Dead, another Valve bestseller.

 

5. Manal Al Sharif 

Company: Saudi Aramco

Handle: N/A

The computer scientist began her journey of breaking social norms when she became the only woman working as an IT security specialist at state-owned oil producer, Saudi Aramco. Al-Sharif is also the founder of the Women2Hack Academy, a program that aims to foster tech talent in Saudi Arabia, with a focus on information security.

 

6. Indra Nooyi

Company: Former CEO of Pepsi / Current Board Member at Amazon

Handle: @IndraNooyi

Nooy joined PepsiCo in 1994 and was named CEO in 2006], replacing Steven Reinemund, becoming the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 44-year history. She was PepsiCo’s first female chief executive and boosted revenue by 80 percent during her tenure.

 

7. Beth Haggerty

Company: Declare

Twitter: @Bethhagger1

Beth Haggerty is the co-founder of Declare, a professional development platform transforming how women learn, work and lead. Beth has successfully built, scaled and managed companies and global business units in the digital/internet and e-commerce space and knows her way around quite a few board rooms. Beth is recognized as both a Top Interactive Executive and a Women to Watch.

 

8. Sarah Carson

Company: Leota

Handle: @sarahcarson_leota

Sarah has created a bespoke womenswear brand that has been focused on breaking the mold of conventional beauty in the fashion industry before it was cool. Her designs and extremely clear vision of an inclusive “she” makes her brand authentic and capable of making women truly feel confident in their own skin.

 

9. Sandy Rubinstein

Company: DXagency

Twitter: @DXagency

Sandy Rubinstein is the CEO of DXagency, a full-service, Emmy nominated digital marketing and engagement firm that helps consumer products, sports, communications, and entertainment companies build and implement high impact brand marketing. Her work/life balance is admirable; she is the mother of two twin boys and, from a very young age, taught them to always give back. Her passion for helping others is instilled in her sons, who at the age of 14, started their own nonprofit, Kids That Do Good. Aside from running a company of her own, Sandy is on the board of KTDG and is extremely involved in her community.

 

10 . Holly Whitaker

Company: Tempest (formerly Hip Sobriety)

1Handle: @hipsobriety

Holly is a pioneer in making sobriety acceptable. What is now an open conversation in the media, Holly began speaking about long before it was “cool” not to drink. She combined years of experience in healthcare with her own inspiring story to create an alternative recovery community with the tools, resources, and education to combat addiction.

 

11. Leila Janah

Company: Samasource

Handle: @leila_c

Leila Janah is an award-winning social entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Samasource, the largest data services company in East Africa, and LXMI, a fair-trade luxury brand. Her work focuses on bringing living-wage jobs to poor women and youth to reduce poverty and build better communities.

 

12. Asa Nordgren

Company: Trice Imaging

Handle: @AsaNordgren

Asa leads the Trice Imaging team by inspiring innovative business development, insightful strategic planning, and passionate team building. Her unique vision and emphasis on Trice Imaging’s culture are building a superior management team and forging game-changing partnerships that will expand the company and accelerate investor returns.

 

13. Dawn Barry

Company: LunaDNA

Handle: @DawnBarryDNA

As president of LunaDNA, Dawn Barry runs the first genomic and medical research database owned by its community of data donors. She was named the SDBJ’s 2017 Business Woman of the Year. In 2018 she was a finalist for both the Connected Women of Influence President’s Award and the Athena Pinnacle Award, Individual in Life Science.

 

14. Hyman & Jennifer Fleiss

Company: Rent the Runway

Handles: @jenn_RTR and @jenny_RTR

Hyman and Fleiss started Rent the Runway after realizing Hyman’s sister didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for a dress she would only wear once to a wedding. The company is aiming to change the meaning of the ownership of luxury experiences.

 

15. Vidya Murthy

Company: MedCrypt

Handle: @vmurthy84

Vidya is the VP of Operations at MedCrypt, a San Diego startup that provides proactive security for medical devices, protecting them from vulnerabilities and breaches that directly impact patient safety. Vidya’s dedicated her career to working in cybersecurity in healthcare as prior to MedCrypt, she worked at one of the largest medical device manufacturers, Becton Dickinson.

 

16. Natasia Malaihollo

Company: Wyzerr

Handle: @Lovenatasia

Natasia Malaihollo is the CEO and co-founder of Wyzerr, an AI startup that modernizes customer feedback collection, analytics and reporting. At Wyzerr, Natasia grew its customer base to over 1,900 small and large businesses in 42 countries in less than two years and counts Google, Facebook, P&G, Unilever, Walmart and Kroger as clients. Natasia has won multiple businesses and innovation awards for her market research work with Wyzerr, including Forbes Under 30 Global Change the World, FedEx’s 36|86 Entrepreneurial award, CART Retail Innovation, Cincinnati Courier’s Women Who Mean Business, Kentucky’s Thoroughbred Award and more. 

 

17. Jane Manchun Wong

Company: Software Engineer and researcher 

Handle: @wongmjane

Since 2017, Jane has been uncovering yet-to-release features in apps and websites including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Google, and more. Her discoveries help all major news publications to break news stories, including TechCrunch, The Verge, CNET, Business Insider and more. If she comes across security vulnerabilities, without sharing it publicly, she discloses it through proper channels including bug bounty programs. Jane was awarded the Facebook Bug Bounty program four times for finding vulnerabilities that could have breached the privacy of users and employee’s privacy.

 

18. Bethany Koby

Company: Tech Will Save Us

Handle: @bethanykoby

In 2012 Bethany co-founded and is CEO of Tech Will Save Us – a business dedicated to sparking the creative imagination of kids using hands-on technology. It is creating the most accessible collection of Technology Kits and digital tools to help kids make, play, code and invent using technology. Bethany’s goal is to grow Tech Will Save Us into the category-defining brand for S.T.E.A.M powered play while building a longer-term, sustainable business and culture.

 

19, Betsey Mercado

Company: Objective Zero

Handle: @zerovetsuicides 

Betsey became involved in Objective Zero after seeing the positive influence that intervention had on veterans in crisis. Betsey has committed herself to make a difference in the lives of Soldiers, veterans, and their families. Her experience working with military spouses and leading multiple Family Readiness Groups supporting active-duty units gives her a unique perspective that she brings to the Objective Zero team. She volunteers her time to assist with the development of the Objective Zero mobile app, maintain the website, and manage Objective Zero’s administration. Betsey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Human Services from Purdue University.

 

20. Sara Hicks

Company: Reaction Commerce

Handle: @saralouhicks

Sara is the CEO and co-founder of Reaction Commerce, a real-time and open source commerce platform for modern brands that deems major companies like Sports Direct International, the UK’s largest sporting goods retailer, as its customers. Prior to starting Reaction Commerce, Sara has held executive positions at Etsy and Yahoo. She’s an avid yogi, runner and cyclist, as well as a badass woman in tech. 

 

21. Nadine Levitt

Company: Wurrly

Handle: @wurrly

Nadine is a Swiss-born, German, Kiwi, U.S. transplant, wine collector, mom of two toddlers and holds several patents in the fitness and technology sector. A professional opera singer and songwriter who has performed around the world, Nadine has shared the stage with David Foster, Roger Daltry, Christina Perri, and Steven Tyler. In 2013 she founded a label & publishing company (Feel Like A Giant & FLAG Publishing), and through those deals formed partnerships with TAP Management and Interscope Records. The need for a platform such as Wurrly, an app that turns your phone into a digital music studio, was born out of her personal need as a singer. “Not everyone can afford a pianist to accompany them, and location and economic differences should not be a barrier to entry for self-expression.” 

 

22. Kendra Scott

Company: Kendra Scott 

Handle: @kendrascott

Kendra Scott is a loving mom, a driven entrepreneur, and a passionate designer who believes the truest form of success is giving back in a meaningful way. The foundation of Kendra’s success has been her infectious energy and entrepreneurial spirit, which took her from a $500 project in the spare bedroom of her home to a billion-dollar fashion brand loved globally. She created a brand and culture that authentically values giving back and making a positive difference in the community.

 

23. Somya Munjal

Company: Youthful Savings/Learning Marketplace 

Handle: @Audacious808

Somya is the founder and CEO of Youthful Savings, an education technology company dedicated to eliminating poverty and violence through the power of education, entrepreneurship, and emotional resilience. The social enterprise seeks to empower the next generation with education products and entrepreneurship training. Learning Marketplace is a tech tool under the Youthful Savings umbrella, providing teachers, parents and communities access to innovative learning products and experiences. 

 

24. Jen Rubio

Company: Away

Handle: @jennifer

Jen is the co-founder of Away, a direct-to-consumer travel and luggage company. By 2017, Jen and her co-founder Stephanie Korey had raised $31 million in funding, making it one of the largest seed financed, female-backed companies. Jen took a non-traditional route to build her empire. Along many of her peers, she did not obtain an MBA, she didn’t even obtain an undergraduate degree. She worked her way up the corporate ranks through a number of marketing and social media positions. Jen believes that when starting a company, your heart has to be in it and you have to have a purpose.

 

25. Dustee Jenkins

Company: Spotify

Handle: @DusteeJenkins 

Dustee Jenkins serves as Spotify’s Head of Global Communications and Public Relations. Previously, she served as Chief Communications Officer and SVP at Target. Dustee is recognized by Mashable as one of the 10 Pioneering Women Changing Field of Communications, and listed on PR Week’s Global Power Book as well as the Holmes Report’s Influence 100. Dustee serves on the Minnesota Zoo board of directors and is a member of NY Women in Communications.

 

26. Morgan DeBaun

Company: Blavity

Handle: @MorganDeBaun

At 24 years old, Morgan co-founded Blavity, an American Internet media company and website based in Los Angeles, created by and for black millennials. Their mission is to “economically and creatively support Black millennials across the African diaspora, so they can pursue the work they love and change the world in the process.” In 2016, DeBaun launched a Blavity conference specifically for black women, EmpowerHer. Blavity also launched AfroTech, the largest tech conference in Silicon Valley for African American startup founders, designers, engineers, and operators.

 

27. Melinda Gates

Company: Gates Foundation

Handle: @melindagates

Melinda Gates is an American philanthropist and a former general manager at Microsoft. In 2000, she co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband Bill Gates. For the last two decades, Melinda has championed and advocated for women in technology and gender equality. She has met with leaders across the world on ways to empower women through inclusivity. 

 

28. Karlie Kloss

Company: Kode With Klossy

Handle: @kodewithklossy

Women today represent only 18 percent of all computer science graduates. Kloss understood that the women who code have the power to shape the future. Her summer program for 13-18-year-olds provides full scholarships to girls who want to learn to code. She has built an empowering community that inspires confidence and supports girls as they pursue careers in STEM.

 

29. Rihanna

Company: Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty

Handle: @rihanna

Aside from being one of the most notable singers/entertainers of our generation, Rihanna understands the value of inclusivity. Through her Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty brands, Rihanna has created products for women of all sizes and complexions. Fenty Beauty was named one of Time magazine’s best inventions of 2017. The line of makeup includes a full range of products for those individuals super pale to all the darker shade individuals. Her Savage X Fenty lingerie line celebrates fearlessness, confidence, and inclusivity. The bra sizes range from 32A to 44DD and loungewear from XS to 3XL.

 

30. Madison Maxey

Company: Loomia

Handle: @Maddy_Maxey

Maddy is the Founder and CEO of Loomia, a company that makes patented e-textiles for medical wearables, automotive interiors, and outdoor gear.  The e-textiles are based on a soft circuit system that can be used to power soft goods. E-textiles are predicted to be a $2B market in the next ten years. Maxey was a Thiel Fellow, receiving $100,000 to leave Parsons and start her own company. She is also a Forbes 30 under 30 member and has done work for Google Creative Lab. Maxey is a member of Project Diane, a database of 28 black women who have raised over $1m in venture funding.

 

31. Arianna Simpson

Company: ASP

Handle: @AriannaSimpson

Arianna is an early-stage investor with over 60 investments to date. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of the cryptocurrency hedge fund ASP, which is backed by Union Square Ventures, Cohen Private Ventures, and others. After traveling to Zimbabwe, where she saw the effects of hyperinflation and the rise of mobile banking, Simpson became interested in cryptocurrency. Before founding ASP, Arianna worked at Facebook and then joined BitGo, where she was the third employee. Arianna is considered one of the leading women in crypto and was chosen as one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40 for the sector.

 

32. Bea Feliu-Espada

Company: The Honey Pot Company

Handle: @thehoneypotcomp

Feminine care is not a luxury; it’s a human right. In 2014, Bea Feliu-Espada created the first complete feminine care system powered by herbs. Her movement exploded as she placed her products in Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, Walgreens, and more. The feminine hygiene products market is expected to reach $42.7 billion by 2022. The company also supplies menstrual hygiene kits to those who are homeless, low income, or living in poverty.

 

33. Thelma Golden

Company: The Studio Museum in Harlem

Handle: @studiomuseum

Thelma Golden is Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, the world’s leading institution devoted to visual art by artists of African descent. She is currently leading its $175 million dollar renovation and bringing a platform for contemporary black arts into the future. Golden also serves on the Board of Directors for the Barack Obama Foundation.

 

34. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez

Company: Congresswoman

Handle: @AOC

At the age of 29, Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress. At age 29, Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States CongressShe works to advocate a progressive and innovative platform, including a Green New Deal, Medicare for all, and free public college. Her 2018 political campaign against Joe Crowley, who had been unchallenged since 2004, was seen as a strategic, inspirational, and effective grassroots campaign. Both CNN and Time characterized her race as “the biggest upset of the 2018 elections.”

 

35. Amal Clooney

Company: Doughty Street Chambers

Handle: @DoughtyStreet

Amal Clooney is an international and human rights lawyer who has represented high profile cases such as Nobel Prize laureate Nadia Murad. Clooney spoke before the UN about the genocide, rape, and trafficking of ISIL that Murad suffered and fights against this slave market that she called “ a bureaucracy of evil on an industrial scale.” She is a special envoy at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and advises on global media freedom. Clooney was also instrumental in the release of two Reuters journalists from Myanmar.

 

36. Michelle Obama

Company: The Obama Foundation & Girls Opportunity Alliance

Handle: @MichelleObama

During her tenure as First Lady, Obama launched Let’s Move, an initiative aimed at reversing childhood obesity. She created the Task Force on Childhood Obesity to review government programs, including school lunches, and to plot a path forward. In her current role at The Obama Foundation, she champions the Girls Opportunity Alliance. More than 98 million adolescent girls worldwide are not in school, and the Alliance supports grassroots leaders who are working to educate such girls globally. Obama is also pivotal in the Obama Foundation Scholars Program, which encourages emerging leaders to give back to their communities through a personalized action plan. 

 

37. Roni Frank

Company: Talkspace

Handle: @roni_frank

Roni is the co-founder of Talkspace, an online therapy platform and mobile app that connects clients directly with licensed therapists anytime and anywhere. She is completely disrupting stigma and the future of therapy, openly committing herself to make access to mental health care easy and seamless.

 

38. Emily Weiss

Company: Glossier 

Handle: @EmilyWWeiss 

Emily profiled other powerful women in the beauty industry to create a brand that made sense for women. Weiss understands the importance of staying connected with the brand’s dedicated fan base and the customer-centric approach has translated into huge demand for Glossier products. 

 

39. Tyler Haney

Company: Outdoor Voices

Handle: @ty_haney

Tyler is the CEO and founder of Outdoor Voices. While at Parsons School of Design she created a five-piece collection of essential activewear, which turned into Outdoor Voices. The company’s minimalist, technical aesthetic and digital-first strategy has earned it significant venture backing and a large amount of national press. 

 

40. Oprah Winfrey

Company: O Magazine, OWN Network

Handle: @Oprah

Aside from being one of the richest and most powerful women in the world, Oprah is a media mogul and a true philanthropist. On the media and entertainment side, Oprah has launched O Magazine, Oprah’s Book Club and the Own Network. Her philanthropy efforts start at the creation of her foundation in 1997 and expand to the girls school she started in South Africa. She has been a substantial donor to organizations such as Times Up, March for Our Lives, Rise Against Hunger and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History.

 

41. Anne Wojcicki

Company: 23AndMe

Handle: @annewoj23

Anne Wojcicki is the co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, a pioneering direct-to-consumer DNA testing firm based in Mountain View, California. A former Wall Street analyst, Wojcicki teamed up with cofounders Linda Avey and Paul Cusenza to start DNA testing company 23andMe in 2006. 23andMe is the only direct-to-consumer genetics testing company cleared by the FDA for health tests, including ones for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. 23andMe is also doing its own drug discovery and boasts a $2.5 billion valuation, with backers like Google.

 

42. Serena Williams

Company: Serena

Handle: @serenawilliams

Known for dominating her opponents with 23 Grand Slam titles and four Olympic gold medals, Williams launched a clothing line, Serena, to add yet another notch onto her belt of growing successes. According to Williams, the line is inspired by “femininity and strength,” and takes into account all budget lines and a range of sizes for inclusivity. She is also a co-owner of the Miami Dolphins and has done endorsements for Nike, Chase, Beats, Delta Airlines, Gatorade and Pepsi.

 

43. Venus Williams

Company: EleVen; V-Starr Interiors

Handle: @venuseswilliams

The winner of 7 Grand Slam titles and 4-time Olympic gold medalist, Venus Williams has crafted success as an entrepreneur behind the scenes with the launch of her activewear brand EleVen – a brand designed for the fashion-forward athletic woman. In addition to EleVen, Williams founded V-Starr Interiors, an interior design company. She is heavily involved in both EleVen and V-Starr, regularly directing style decisions, even working in the warehouse. Along with her sister Serena, she is also a co-owner of the Miami Dolphins.

 

44. Jessica Alba

Company: The Honest Company

Handle: @jessicaalba

Jessica Alba pivoted from the big screen to co-founder of The Honest Company, an American consumer goods company that focuses on safe, eco-friendly and all-natural products. The company experienced amazing growth in its first year, hitting $12 million in revenue in 2012. This grew to $150 million by 2014, and finally a valuation of over $1 billion in 2015. The Honest Company was a unicorn company just a few years after launch.

 

45. Rebecca Minkoff

Company: Rebecca Minkoff; Female Founder Collective

Handle: @RebeccaMinkoff

Rebecca founded Rebecca Minkoff, a global fashion brand, in 2005 and has since become a giant in the handbag and accessories space. She also co-founded Female Founder Collective (FFC) with other female business owners, a network dedicated to enabling and empowering female-owned and led companies. Earlier this year, FFC partnered with Yelp on a new “Women-Owned Business” attribute that highlights women-owned businesses.

 

46. Shonda Rhimes

Company: Shondaland

Handle: @shondarhimes

Shonda Rhimes launched Shondaland, her production company, which has produced some of the most popular and buzzed-about TV series of all time, including the long-running Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. Worth an estimated $135 million, Rhimes is the wealthiest female showrunner in Hollywood. Rhimes is also the author of her memoir, “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person.”

 

47. Elaine Russell

Company: PLG Ventures 

Handle: @mygraybird 

Elaine is a Partner with PLG Ventures, an early-stage family office venture capital firm providing pre-seed and seed capital to technology startups. A founder-turned-investor herself, she has a knack for discovering passionate founders innovating incredible products.

 

48. Terri Burns

Company: Investment professional at Brave 

Handle: @tcburning 

Terri is an investment professional and concentrates on funding enterprise, consumer and frontier technology. She’s on the board at Brave – an education initiative helping young women build a better world with code – and a member at All Raise – a non-profit organization dedicated to diversity in funders and founders. Terri is committed to creating lasting change within both tech and venture.

 

49. Aly DeNardo

Company: M Ventures 

Handle: @alydenardo

Alyson is a Partner at M Ventures, an early-stage venture firm investing capital, time, relationships and expertise into today’s most innovative consumer and enterprise solutions. At only 22, she’s already a powerhouse within the Silicon Valley ecosystem. 

 

50. Reshma Saujani 

Company: Girls Who Code

Handle: @reshmasaujani

Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code which aims to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does by building the largest pipeline of female engineers in the U.S. 

 

51. Sheryl Sandberg

Company: Facebook & Lean In

Handle: @sherylsandberg

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, was the first woman on its board of directors.  Within two years of Sandberg’s appointment at Facebook, the company became profitable. Prior to Facebook, she was VP of global online sales and operations at Google and was pivotal in the launch of Google’s philanthropic initiative, Google.org. In 2013, Sandberg founded LeanIn to help women achieve their professional goals. Over 380,000 women and men in 157 countries have joined LeanIn. Both Sheryl and LeanIn champion the growth of diverse female leadership worldwide.

 

52. Sheryl WuDunn

Company: Writer

Handle: @WuDunn

Sheryl WuDunn is the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer for her co-coverage of the Tiananmen Square Protests. While at the New York Times, she covered global markets, foreign technology, global energy, Asia, and more. She is the co-author of four best-selling books with husband and champion of women’s rights Nicholas Kristof. Her and Kristof’s book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide passionately calls for a movement against the oppression of women and sex trafficking in the developing world. Their latest book, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity examines altruism and evaluates how we can make an effective difference in the lives of others. 

 

53. Arianna Huffington

Company: Thrive Global

Handle: @ariannahuff

As founder of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington oversaw a media empire which included Engadget and StyleList. The Huffington Post, which quickly became one of the most widely-read digital media brands, was acquired for $315 million. Huffington is currently founder and CEO of Thrive Global, which strives to offer science-based solutions to enhance the well-being, performance, and purpose of individuals, companies, and communities. She is the author of over 15 books and is a New York Times bestselling author.

 

54. Chang Xu

Company: Upfront Ventures 

Handle: @_changxu

Chang is a Principal at Upfront Ventures, an LA-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage technology startups. She believes in leveraging technology to augment human potential, partnering with founders working on challenges in AI/ML, the future of work and commerce tech.

 

55. Michelle Cordeiro Grant

Company: Lively

Handle: @Wearlively

Michelle Cordeiro Grant is the CEO and founder of Lively, which progressed from a small lingerie brand selling $35 bras to a large lifestyle brand backed by more than $15M in capital funding. While working at Victoria’s Secret, she saw how the entire market was dominated by one brand with one POV. She set out to create a completely new experience in the lingerie business, inspired by real life. 

 

56. Susan Wojcicki

Company: YouTube

Handle: @SusanWojcicki

Susan has been the CEO of YouTube since 2014. In 1999, Wojcicki became Google’s 16th ever employee, a marketing manager, and advocated a few years later for the $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube. The site, which she has run since 2014, is now worth an estimated $90 billion. Wojcicki herself has an estimated net worth of nearly $500 million

 

 

57. Karson Humiston 

Company: Vangst 

Handle: @khumiston

Vangst is the cannabis industry’s #1 recruiting platform. The startup has placed more than 10,000 candidates with jobs in the cannabis industry, a boom to the industry overall.

 

58. Maxine Kozler 

Company: LDR Ventures

Handle: @MaxiMKKPR

Maxine is the co-managing director at LDR Ventures, an LA-based venture capital fund focused on investing capital and mentoring in early-stage companies and entrepreneurs of all genders, races, and places. She also empowers women to become angel and venture capital investors. 

 

59. Amanda Groves

Company: PLUS Capital 

Handle: @plusvc

Amanda is a Partner at PLUS Capital where she advises top celebrities on backing tomorrow’s game-changing startups. In a nutshell, she spends her days playing matchmaker between the brands that are ready to take over the world and the people that can help amplify them.

 

60. Beyonce

Company: Parkwood Entertainment

Handle: @Beyonce

Beyonce commands in attention in any room, arena, stadium, or stage in which she steps foot on. But more than that, she is a business woman. From secret album releases to digital-first launches, Beyonce has served as a pioneer for women in music and entertainment. She turned a $6 million payment for an Uber performance into a $300 million payout after requesting to be paid in equity. Most recently, Beyonce turned a Coachella performance into a three-project $60 million Netflix deal.

 

61. Danielle Gorman

Company: Luma Launch

Handle: @Luma_Launch 

Danielle is Platform Lead and an investor at Luma Launch, a venture capital firm investing in high impact early-stage startups, fostering community and strategic mentorship amongst founders. When she’s not discovering talented startups for Luma’s accelerator program, she’s running fund marketing and operations, or extending her marketing prowess to support Luma’s portfolio companies. 

 

62. Jennifer Lee

Company: Walt Disney Studios 

Handle: @alittlejelee

Jennifer Lee, Walt Disney Animation’s chief creative officer and known as “the most powerful woman in animation” is reshaping the studio with greater inclusion and diversity in storytelling.

 

63. Jennifer Doudna

Company: Gladstone Institutes + professor at the University of California, San Francisco+ an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 

Handle: @doudna_lab

Jennifer Doudna has been a leading figure in the “CRISPR revolution” for her fundamental work and leadership in developing CRISPR-mediated genome editing. Doudna was one of two women who first proposed that CRISPR-Cas9 could be used for programmable editing of genomes. 

 

64. Ellen Degeneres 

Company: The Ellen Degeneres Show

Handle: @theellenshow

After starting out as a stand-up comedian, Ellen DeGeneres rose to fame when her sitcom ‘Ellen’ premiered on television in 1994. Nine years later, her eponymous daytime talk show first aired, making DeGeneres a household name. Since coming out as gay in 1997, she’s been an activist in the LGTBQ community, supporting to the Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD.

 

65. Marina Taylor

Company: Cut.com

Handle: @tweetmemarina

At the age of 26 and only three years after joining Cut.com as a production intern, Marina rose to the ranks of Creative Director and co-founded HiHo Kids, a channel with 100 million organic views a month and nearly 3 billion views in total. A prolific creator, her work—including viral sensations like 100 Years of Beauty, Kids Try, and Black Parents Explain the Police—has set the tone for a generation of parents and kids who want more from media. Under her leadership and editorial vision, HiHo’s audience has grown to 4 million subscribers.

 

66. Yuka Kojima

Company: Fove Inc.

Handle: @GameGeekGirl

Yuka Kojima is the co-funded of Fove Inc. the company that made the first virtual reality headset that utilizes eye-tracking. In a field dominated by men, Yuka Kojima shows women all around the world they can pursue their passions regardless of gender. 

 

67. J. K. Rowling

Company: Writer

Handle: @jk_rowling

J. K. Rowling, creator of the legendary Harry Potter series and the ninth-best-selling fiction author of all time continues to memorize readers with her recent book series, Fantastic Beasts. J. K. Rowling’s rags to riches story prove with some imagination anything is possible. 

 

68. Gwynne Shotwell

Company: SpaceX

Handle:@GwynneShotwell

Gwynne is the President and Chief Operating Officer at SpaceX, the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft. She is a fundamental part of SpaceX’s success and currently working on the next-generation transportation system to take people to Mars. 

 

69. Ava Duvernay

Company: African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement

Handle: @ava

In 2010 DuVernay founded the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), her own company to distribute films made by or focusing on black people. DuVernay refers to AFFRM as “not so much a business, but a call to action.” In 2015, she became the first black woman to direct a film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar for “Selma,” and the first female director to cross the $100 million mark domestically with “A Wrinkle in Time.”

 

70. Mary Barra

Company: General Motors Company

Handle: @mtbarra

Mary Barra is the Chairman and CEO of General Motors Company.[3] She has held the CEO position since January 15, 2014, and she is the first female CEO of a major global automaker. Going beyond General Motors, Barra was selected by U.S. President Donald Trump to be part of his business forum that focused on economic issues, but left after Trump voiced out his response to the violent protests that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August.

 

71. Ginni Rometty

Company: IBM

Handle: @ginnirometty

Ginni Rometty is the current chair, president, and CEO of IBM, and the first woman to head the company. Prior to her role as CEO, Rometty was the general manager of IBM’s global services division, where she helped negotiate the company’s purchase of PricewaterhouseCoopers IT consulting business becoming known for her work on integrating the two companies. Since becoming CEO, she has focused IBM on analytics, cloud computing, and cognitive computing systems.

 

72. Inna Braverman

Company: Eco Wave Power

Handle: @InnaBraverman

Having survived the Chernobyl disaster, Inna Braverman set her sights on reinventing the energy industry. The Israeli entrepreneur and businesswoman is the co-founder of Eco Wave Power, a green energy company that harnesses the power of sea and ocean waves and cleanly converts it to electricity. Braverman designed, developed, and opened the first commercially viable wave energy plant in Gibraltar, providing 15% of the country’s electricity.

 

73. Malala Yousafzai

Company: Malala Fund

Handle: @Malala

Malala, the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, founded the Malala Fund to ensure 12 years of free, safe and quality education for every girl. Malala Fund breaks down the barriers preventing more than 130 million girls around the world from going to school.

 

74. Ai-jen Poo

Company: National Domestic Workers Alliance

Handle: @aijenpoo

 The 2014 of the MacArthur “Genius” Award, Ai-jen Poo is a labor organizer and executive director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. She is also the co-director of Caring Across Generations, a national coalition of 200 advocacy organizations working to transform the long-term care system in the US, with a focus on the needs of aging Americans, people with disabilities, and their caregivers.

 

75. Lady Gaga

Company: Born This Way Foundation

Handle: @ladygaga

Aside from being a being a powerhouse singer, songwriter and actress, she is known for her philanthropy and social activism, including her work related to LGBT rights, and for her nonprofit organization, the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF). She founded BTWF with her mother in 2011, aiming to create a “braver, kinder world” for youths; create safe-spaces, promote the learning of life skills, and provide opportunities to improve their local communities.

 

76. Marie Kondo

Company: KonMari

Handle: @MarieKondo

Tidying expert, bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, star of Netflix’s hit show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” and founder of KonMari: Marie Kondo has created a decluttering empire. Her work has been featured all over and references to her namesake brand are made in pop culture often.

 

77. Emma Gonzalez

Company: Never Again MSD

Handle: @Emma4Change

Emma Gonzalez is an American activist and advocates for gun control. As a high school senior, she survived the February 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, and in response co-founded the gun-control advocacy group Never Again MSD. She has continued to be an outspoken activist on gun control – most known for her viral “We call B.S.” speech – and helped organize the March for Our Lives.

 

78. Taylor Swift

Company: Taylor Swift

Handle: @taylorswift13

Taylor Swift was named the world’s highest-paid celebrity, with $185 million in pretax income in the past year and has amassed an estimated $360 million net worth. Swift has been incredibly strategic in building her empire – from pulling her music from Spotify and negotiating fairer royalties with Apple Music to reportedly signing a $200 million contract with Universal.

 

79. Gloria Steinem

Company: Women’s Media Center; Ms. Magazine

Handle: @GloriaSteinem

Gloria Steinem is a feminist, journalist and social-political activist who is nationally recognized as a leader and a spokeswoman for the American feminist movement. She co-founded Ms. Magazine, an American liberal feminist magazine, and the Women’s Media Center, an organization that works “to make women visible and powerful in the media,” along with Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan.

 

80. Tarana Burke

Company: Me Too Movement

Handle: @Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke is a civil rights activist who was the original founder of the “Me Too” movement. She originally coined the phrase “me too” while working at Just Be Inc., a nonprofit she founded in 2003 that focused on the overall well-being of young women of color. She currently serves at the Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn as its senior director.

 

81. Bek Chee

Company: Atlassian

Handle: @bekchee

Bek has spent the last 20 years seeking to increase the impact and improve the health of individuals and teams. Having worked as a family therapy psychologist and college basketball coach, she takes pride in having a multi-disciplinary and humanistic approach to teams, rooted in psychology, economics, athletics, systems thinking, leadership studies and personal experience. 

 

82. Claude Silver

Company: VaynerMedia 

Handle: @claudesilver

Claude holds the second-most important position at VaynerMedia as Gary Vaynerchuk’s right-hand woman. Handpicked for this role by the CEO himself, Silver understands what it means to connect heart and hustle. The chief heart officer is in touch with the heartbeat of every single person; over 750 people across five offices. Through service leadership, Silver’s passion is reaching millennials through mentorship.

 

83. Cleo Wade

Company: Artist, poet, activist, and author 

Handle: @cleowade

Cleo Wade is the author of the best-selling book, “Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life.” Her latest book, “Where To Begin: A Small Book About Your Power To Create Big Change In Our Crazy World.” Her poetry, artwork, and prose speaks to our collective power to create change through an individual’s commitment to self-care, beloved community building, and social justice. Cleo has been named one of America’s 50 Most Influential Women by Marie Claire, 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company, and “The Millennial Oprah” by New York Magazine.

 

84. Esther Perel

Company: Therapist, author, speaker, and creator of the “Where Should We Begin” podcast 

Handle: @estherperel

Esther Perel is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author, recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she helms a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world.

 

85. Michelle Kim

Company: Awaken

Handle: @mjmichellekim 

While working in management consulting and technology startups, Michelle experienced and validated first-hand the urgent need for modern, up-to-date education that empowers leaders to be more empathetic, agile, and culturally aware. As an immigrant queer woman of color, Michelle has been a lifelong social justice activist and a community organizer.

 

86. Patty McCord

Company: Awaken

Handle: @pattymccord1

From her many years working with companies large and small, Patty believes people come to work as fully formed adults with a desire to make an impact and be proud of what they do and she’s on a mission to spread the word that we can do this differently.

 

87. Oshoke Pamela Abalu

Company: Love & Magic Company

Handle: @pamelaabalu

Oshoke Pamela Abalu is the co-founder of Love & Magic Company, and pioneers human-centered design solutions that infuse consciousness, energy flow, and inclusivity into global workplace transformations. A Crain’s 40 Under 40 honoree, she is reimagining the future of work through ecosystem innovations like “Inclusion & Symphony” and “Smiles Per Square Foot”, where people and technology work side by side to improve lived experiences and amplify human potential.

 

88. Issa Rae

Company: Insecure HBO Show 

Handle: @IssaRae

Issa Rae is an African American actress, writer, producer, and director. She gained popularity from her youtube series, Awkward Black Girl. Unlike most YouTube stars she was able to leverage her success and make space for women of color by teaming up with HBO for her Grammy Nominated show Insecure. In addition, Issa Rae has been featured on Glamour Magazine “35 Under 35,” Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Entertainment Weekly’s “Breaking Big” lists.

 

89. Lizzo

Company: Lizzo

Handle: @Lizzo

Lizzo is a songwriter, recording artist, flutist, and actress. Spearheading the sounds of body positivity. In 2019 she released her Billboard charting album, Cuz I Love You. Queerty named her one of the Pride50 “trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving towards equality, acceptance, and dignity for all queer people.”

 

90. Cardi B

Company: Cardi B

Handle: @iamcardib

Cardi B is a rapper, actress & pop culture personality. She is known for holding no punches in expressing herself and gained popularity as a regular on the VH1 show Love & Hip Hop. Recently she sat down with Bernie Sanders in order to bring the conversation of politics to a new audience. 

 

91. Dawn Dickson

Company: PopComm

Handle: @THEDawnDickson

Dawn Dickson is the first black co founder to raise over a million dollars. She is a serial founder, inventor, and entrepreneur and is coming up on two decades in the tech industry. Her most recent endeavor being PopComm, the first hardware shoe vending machine. PopComm is currently in Atlanta Airports. Dickerson’s aim is to highlight how short the black dollar stays in the community (only 6 hours) and the $6 trillion dollars annually buying power that the Black community has.   

 

92. Karena Evans

Company: Karena Evans

Handle: @Karenaevans

Karena Evans is a Toronto born 23-year-old actor and director. She’s recently gained recognition from directing Drake’s “Nice For What”, “God’s Plan” and “In My Feelings” videos while winning awards including Video Director of the Year at the 2019 BET Awards, Best Director at the 2018 Much Music Video Awards, and Video of the Year at the 2018 BET Awards to name a few. She was also awarded the 2018 Prism Prize Lipsett Award as a result of her innovative and artistic approach which made her the first woman to ever receive the Lipsett Award. 

 

93. Reese Witherspoon

Company: Hello Sunshine 

Handle: @ReeseW

Reese is the founder of ‘Hello Sunshine’ a media brand “anchored in storytelling, creating, and discovering content that celebrates women and puts them at the center of the story.” She launched Hello Sunshine to change the narrative for women.

 

94. Nia Batts & Sophia Bush 

Company: Detroit Blows 

Handle: @detroitblows  

It’s a known fact that women of color frequently get upcharged in hair salons for having textured hair. Nia Batts decided to take an initiative that addressed this problem, while also empowering the community and female entrepreneurs. Batts recruited Sophia Bush to help execute their inclusive beauty salon with a business motive. They created Detroit Blows, an inclusive salon that is committing $1 from every service and 25 percent of retail to enterprises with female entrepreneurs.

 

95. Katie Hill

Company: U.S. House of Representatives, California’s 25th district

Handle: @KatieHill4CA

Katie Hill is a Democratic politician in the U.S. House of Representatives as of 2018 and an advocate for improving access to healthcare and income inequality. Hill has worked as the executive director for People Assisting the Homeless (PATH). Openly bisexual, Hill is an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

 

96. Ursula Burns

Company: VEON, Teneo

Handle: @UrsulaBurns

In 2009, Ursula Burns was the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company (Xerox), as well as the first woman to succeed another female CEO in that role. Currently, Burns is the CEO and chairman at VEON telecommunications company, a senior advisor for Teneo and a member of the Board of Directors for Uber. Burns is also a founding board member for the Change the Equation organization, which is dedicated to improving STEM education in U.S. schools. She is also involved in the U.S. Olympics Committee, the National Academy Foundation for improving high school education and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

 

97. Kate Rubins

Company: NASA

Handle: @Astro_Kate7

Kathleen “Kate” Rubins is a NASA astronaut and became the first person to sequence DNA in space on Expedition 48/49. Rubin has a B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of California and received her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from Stanford University. She has spent a total of 115 days in space to date, with 12 hours and 46 minutes of that time spent conducting spacewalks.

 

98. Paula Dumas

Company: MigraineAgain

Handle: @MigraineAgain

Paula Dumas is an advocate for migraine disease research and education and is the CEO and founder of MigraineAgain, a community for connecting millions of migraine patients worldwide with resources and information and raising funding for a cure. Following her career with companies including CNN, Apple and Disney, Paula became a health advocate in the non-profit space. Paula is also a co-host of the Migraine World Summit, a free annual summit that provides expert educational information and research for individuals with chronic migraine disease.

 

99. Kristina B. Jones 

Company: Courtbuddy

Handle: @KristinaBingham

Kristina Jones, co-founder of Court Buddy, Court Buddy has garnered some major accolades including an award from President Obama back in 2017.

 

100. Barbara Rentler

Company: Ross Stores, Inc. 

Handle: @Ross_Stores

As the only woman chosen on Forbes 100 Most Innovative Leaders, Barbara rose through the ranks at Ross Stores, Inc. starting in merchandising reaching the title of Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager at Ross Dress for Less. In May 2014, she took over as CEO. Recently, she was the only woman named to Forbes list of America’s Most Innovative Leaders. 

 

All photography copyrights reserved to original holder. 

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

Let's Chat.