As Beyonce said, ladies run the world…
Guys, hold onto your seats and take notes. With their innate ability to multitask, and with the latest resources at their disposal, women today are working at a level and speed unlike any other. “One step at a time” no longer works as a solid approach to a solution if you wish to keep up. The women highlighted below are moving tenfold through their fields, and they show no signs of slowing down.
Through innovation, these 5 powerful ladies are making significant waves in their respective industries. They are coming up with ideas and solutions to problems that are making people stop, think, and appreciate the good that hard-work and perseverance can do. As the world continues to be redefined through technology, equality, and efficiency, there is a lot that we can learn from them and much more to look forward to.
At 45 years of age, Sheryl Sandberg has worked as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Treasury Department and Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. Now, the mother of two can add to her list of titles: author, speaker, advocate, entrepreneur, and COO of Facebook, where she is in charge of the company’s sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy and communications.
Joining Facebook in 2008, Sandberg got right to work on flipping the script on the social network’s advertising tactics. Drawing on her experience in global sales, her work quickly leads to major company growth measured in terms of size, profits, and users. Though that alone is a great accomplishment, Sandberg has definitely made herself known as more than Mark Zuckerberg’s right-hand woman.
Often called a feminist, she has become a leader in conversation concerning the inequalities that women face in business. First coming onto the radar with her still famous 2010 TED Talk, Sandberg has since taken the discussion of this topic to new heights with her book, Lean In, the establishment of Lean In circles and the launch of “Ban Bossy”, a campaign initiated last year that saw celebrities such as Beyoncé, Jennifer Garner, and Condoleezza Rice jumping on board to lend a voice to her cause. Check it out here:
Seeing her own advice serve her, in 2012 she became the first women to sit on Facebook’s Board of Directors. This makes her newest project that much more fitting. Along with Marc Andreessen, co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and fellow Facebook board member, she is starting up a program that coaches women and minorities on how to serve on a board of directors. Sandberg has a vision for the future of America’s workforce and she won’t stop until she sees it through.
Danielle Morrill is the founder and CEO of Mattermark, an organization that uses a software to analyze and sort data of smaller, private companies in order to facilitate decision making for potential investors, sponsors, and buyers.
Morrill caught the entrepreneurship bug at an early age when she began working for her father’s startup at 13. As a curious and rebellious kid, she worked many different jobs throughout junior high and high school, skipped out on applying to college, and spent her free time data-gathering and blogging about her findings.
After working her way through various tech companies in the Bay Area of California, including a three-year stint at Twilio, Morrill started her own company, Referly, in 2012. Referly, an online software that tracked social media activity among users, only lasted a year before Morrill shut it down. It was then that Mattermark was born.
Today, MatterMark is being used by thousands of investors and startups as it has become a go-to service for information about startups and private companies, curating relevant data and insights to industry experts and investors. The company has raised $3.4 million with the majority of their investors coming from investors who were already using the product such as Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz, and NEA.
The company continues to grow and in a recent interview with TechRepublic, Morrill explained that the ultimate outcome for MatterMark to be successful is that it will be the go-to place for business people to ask questions that they can’t find answers for on Google.
Co-founder and CEO of FEED Projects, Lauren Bush Lauren, is changing the way consumers connect to organizations. It was during a mission with the UN’s World Food Programme, in 2003, where she developed an interest in combating world hunger. She came up with the idea then and there to focus her efforts on something that made more of an impact. In 2007, Lauren launched FEED Projects with the design of the first FEED bag. The company’s product line has since gone on to include accessories and apparel.
With her simple awareness model, providing meals for merchandise sold, and indicating directly on the product just how many meals are provided with its purchase, Lauren has mastered the execution of cause-related marketing. She has grown her brand through strategic partnerships. FEED Projects, with promotional help from retail giants such as Target and The Gap, supports organizations like UNICEF and Feeding America, by providing a share of product revenue to the fight against hunger. From FEED Projects, sprouted the nonprofit FEED Foundation, which lends additional support to organizations fighting for the same cause.
There really is only one person who can release a surprise 14-track album overnight, complete with 17 pre-made videos, and temporarily shut down iTunes from an overwhelming amount of sales (over 800,000 downloads in the first three days) while doing it.
This is Beyoncé and this is what she does.
Constantly innovating and experimenting with music, keeping fans guessing, and silencing an entire industry. Beyoncé likes to be very hands-on with everything she does, which has to be a testament to her strong upbringing, surrounded by hard-working parents and a drive to succeed. Back in 2008, she really took over the reins when she founded Parkwood Entertainment, her very own management and entertainment company, and became her own manager. Not many artists will attempt this.
Not only is Beyoncé one of the most talented artists of our time, but she is also someone who, with all her wealth and success, continues to give back. She is a supportive advocate for women and girls, using her voice to provide a broader platform for Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s campaign, “The Full Participation Project”, as well as Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign. The same sentiments and support for women often come through in her music. From old songs, like “Independent Woman”, to new ones, such as “Pretty Hurts”, Beyoncé proves time and again that she exists to do more than just entertain. All hail Queen Bey.
Danielle Fong is the co-Founder and Chief Scientist of LightSail Energy, a company that supplies innovative and efficient energy storage systems using compressed air. Fong moved fast through childhood to get to where she is today. This junior-high school drop-out graduated from university and began studying for her Ph.D. (which she also never completed), all before reaching the legal age of maturity. Three years later, after moving to San Francisco and trying her hand at several failed start-ups, she acknowledged a more pressing concern in the area of clean energy storage. From there, LightSail Energy was born.
Two years ago, Fong and LightSail managed to secure funding, totaling $37.3 million, from three prominent individual investors—Bill Gates, Peter Thiel, and Vinod Khosla— to keep the company going. While this money is encouraging more work and research, LightSail has still not been brought to market. Fong, however, is patient and has a never-die attitude as they continue building a product that has the potential to change the world. She has learned from inventors she admires from the past that learning is a process and understands that creating something of substance takes time. If you’re not watching what Danielle and the entire LightSail Energy team are up to, you’re likely to miss out on an opportunity to watch history be made.
Of course, the five women above represent only a sample of the influential women paving the way for the generations of tomorrow and inspiring the world today. One thing they do have in common though is their willingness to embrace change and their ability to think outside the box.
Their efforts to make a living extend beyond the corporate expectations of profit-making; instead, they rely on passion and let an entrepreneurial spirit flow through their work. They ask the questions, “What can I do that has not already been done?” and “How can I make a difference?” Perhaps there are some women in your own lives who incorporate the same type of approach.
If we continue to support, encourage, and learn from each other in this way, great things will continue to happen. Are you or do you know a lady boss who is changing her industry?
Comment below and let us know! We’d love to learn more about what you’re doing or who else is making a ding in the universe.
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