In her absolutely brilliant speech at the DNC, Michelle Obama reminded us that it’s a hard knock world out there for us women folk. Ugh, I know… STILL. We are fortunate enough to take for granted that a woman like Hilary Clinton can run for president of the United States, but all over the world equal opportunity is still fighting for its ground. Sure, it’s 2016 in Canada, and Justin Trudeau is a feminist sent from God above, but unfortunately there remains a whole lot of work to be done until men and women are treated equally. Period. No exceptions.
Let me recap for those who don’t feel the glass ceiling oh-so oppressively—according to the United States International Labor Rights Forum every single country on our big ol’ planet suffers from gender pay gaps by margins of up to 40 percent (!!!) and only 21 of the people on the Fortune 500 list are women.
So ya, we have a little ways to go (because seriously, if anyone tries to pay me 40% less than a man for doing the same amount of work, I will Literally— not metaphorically— Flip. Tables.)
So who do we turn to as beacons of hope and models for change in these table flipping times of gender inequality? The stand up gals who are defying the odds, and jumping in the ring with the boys. These five #Girlbosses serve as a reminder that being a successful CEO and having x chromosomes are not mutually exclusive qualities. Which, in case you missed my sarcasm, is like…Duh.
Christene Barberich, Co-founder and Global Editor-in-Chief of Refinery 29.
In 2005 Barberich founded Refinery29, an award-winning global women’s media company, which reaches more than 175 million users worldwide monthly. In a podcast for Manrepeller, Barberich says that although she is now the head of one of America’s fastest growing companies, she was the first in her in her family to attend and graduate college, and she climbed her way through the industry the good old fashioned way— from a temp job at the New Yorker to writing positions with Gourmet Magazine.
Sophia Amoruso, Founder and CEO of Nasty Gal
Sophia Amoruso, founder of the online store Nasty Gal, is queen of the #girlbosses. Hell she even wrote the book. Amoruso infamously started her career dumpster diving for vintage finds, but in June 2016 Forbes estimated she has a net worth of $280 million. Nothing to sneeze at my friends. Nothing to sneeze at.
Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo
- Ok, Mayer isn’t exactly one of the hottest CEO’s right now—what with the downfall of Yahoo— but STILL. Girl has made 117 million over five years, has a net worth of 500 million, and damn she’s only 41. Not only is Mayer one of few CEO’s to have posed for Vogue, she also has a degree in symbolic systems at Stanford, and danced ballet in the school’s version of the Nutcracker. Could Mark Zuckerberg rock a tutu? I think not.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of leanin.org
You probably saw this one coming. Everyones favourite COO, Sheryl Sandberg is inhumanly clever. She graduated from Harvard economics summa cum laude, and later returned for an M.B.A. After working for the US treasury and Google, Sandberg moved to facebook in 2008 and became the first female on Facebooks board of directors in 2012. Sandberg’s Facebook shares means that she’s now estimated to be workth about US$1.31 billion. Also she wrote that little known book “Lean In” that kind of revolutionized the way people saw sexism in the workforce.
And to conclude, a word from Sandberg who would like to kindly request that we all start treating young women like they have the same potential as their male counterparts, please and thank you.