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Women to Watch: The 6 CEO’s You Should Know

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Chicago chapter.

As a feminist, girl-boss, and future female leader, you can often hear me yell out in frustration, “WHERE ARE THE WOMEN??”

In the United States, women hold 46.8% of the total labor force, 51.5% of management roles, but only 5.2% of CEO positions. Yes, you are reading that correctly. This small percentage is really unsettling to me, as it should be, and even makes me question my odds for the future.

However, times are changing. Women all over the world are currently calling gender norms into question and forging their own paths, creating a positive shift in our society that supports women and their endeavors. Below, I have outlined 6 CEO’s that help serve as an inspiration and testament that it is possible.

1.     Maryellis Bunn

Photo Courtesy of Coveteur

You’ve probably heard about the Museum of Ice Cream by now, an interactive ice cream and candy art exhibit with pop-up locations across the country, but what we really need to be paying attention to is the woman behind this experiential operation. Bunn, a 25-year-old former head of forecasting & innovation for Time Inc. and design/strategy consultant for companies like Facebook, is being called The Millennial Walt Disney- which seems pretty on point given that she dreams of oceans made out of sprinkles and wants to throw the inaugural party on Mars. The planet. At just 25, who knows what she could be serving up next- she is definitely one to watch.

2.     Emily Weiss

Photo Courtesy of Quartz

Ok, now I KNOW you know who this is because I wrote about her in my article from last week. If you find yourself dealing with some temporary memory loss, THIS is Emily Weiss, Founder, and CEO of the millennial beauty brand, Glossier. Weiss got her start as a Teen Vogue intern which later helped spark the idea for her self-run beauty blog, Into The Gloss. Her blog helped provide Weiss with a beauty platform, full of beauty reviews and recommendations, giving her all the insight she needed to make it on her own. Enter: Glossier. The brand is now worth over $34 million and employs over 300 people.

3.     Katrina Lake

Photo Courtesy of Harvard Business Review

This is Katrina Lake, founder, and CEO of Stitch Fix, the online personal styling service. What started as a school project at Harvard Business School, amassed into a $3 billion-dollar business making her one of the wealthiest female entrepreneurs in the country. Last year, Lake took her company public, making her the youngest female to lead a company into the public space but also the only woman to take a tech startup public in 2017. At just 35 years old, she is disrupting the traditional shopping experience while being a mother of two, proving you can do it all.

4.     Jennifer Hyman

Photo Courtesy of Coveteur

We have another fashion disruptor on the radar, we’re talking about Rent the Runway. Jennifer Hyman is the co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway, an online clothing-rental startup, that aims to change the way woman shop and get dressed. Hyman got her BA AND MBA from Harvard and she also currently serves on Harvard’s Women in Business Board. Along with keeping an eye on her $100 million-dollar business, Hyman is also an investor and advisor for a number of startups around the country and is the director of business development for IMG. What a busy gal!

5.     Carolyn Rafaelian

Photo Courtesy of Purist

Meet this bracelet billionaire. Carolyn Rafaelian is the founder and CEO of Alex and Ani, a jewelry company named after her two daughters. Rafaelian is the wealthiest self-made woman in the country to receive her earnings from the jewelry industry and owns 80% of her $1.2 billion-dollar company. This free-spirited CEO was the cover girl for the Forbes 2017 “Richest Self-Made Women” issue and currently has her sights set on opening a museum in Newport, RI and testing out grape varieties for her vineyard located in Little Compton.

6.     Audrey Gelman

Photo Courtesy of Into The Gloss

A former junior aide for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Audrey Gelman is the co-founder and CEO of The Wing, a no boys allowed social club and co-working space. When you think co-working space you may think of WeWork as obvious competition, but in actuality, WeWork invested $28 million into this feminist heaven. Inspired by women clubs that were around during the 20th century, The Wing provides women a sanctuary-like space for their hectic work days.

Briana Kennedy

Columbia Chicago '19

I am a Columbia College Chicago student majoring in Advertising and double minoring in Marketing and Social Media & Digital Strategy. I am currently a strategy intern for Fusion92. In my free time, I enjoy reading, running, watching Netflix, exploring Chicago, and finding the cutest coffee shops.