We thought that coming up with a list of women who inspire us would be pretty easy. We figured that at the very least, we could name ten or so women off the top of our head who we look up to, but we quickly encountered an interesting problem — the universe of extremely cool, accomplished, smart women is just way too big to do proper justice to.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it’s our way of showing a little love to just a few of the countless numbers of women who have helped steer our paths personally and professionally. Here’s to all the girls out there doing their own thing — we see you and we’re rooting for you.
Whitney Wolf Herd
Women around the world let out a collective sigh of relief when they heard that a dating app created by a fellow woman was coming out. Enter Whitney Wolf Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble, and, as of this February, the youngest woman to ever take a company public. Whitney initially started as a marketing executive at Tinder but left to create Bumble after becoming increasingly fed up with dating apps that didn’t address the needs of women. Her idea, a dating app that put power back into the hands of women by allowing them to make the first move, took off instantly, and now operates in over 150 countries around the world. Thanks for saving us from the creepiness of online dating, Whitney.
Just a heads up, what you’re about to read will make you feel like an underachiever. At only 23, tennis player Naomi Osaka has accomplished, well, a lot. She’s been ranked number 1 in the world, she’s won four Grand Slams (including two back to back), she’s gained significant recognition as an activist, and she’s developed a 125 mile per hour serve that would definitely take you out. We should also mention that she has great style on the court and seems like the nicest person ever. In short, we’re big fans and we can’t wait to see what’s next for her.
A former Wall Street banker, Sallie Krawcheck saw that the financial industry was fundamentally out of touch with what women wanted and how they lived. She recognized a new generation of women who didn’t want to defer to men about financial decisions; instead, they wanted to make their own money and, more importantly, be in total control of it. And so she founded Ellevest, a full-service financial firm tailored to women who wanted to gain financial literacy, achieve their goals, and invest with the future in mind. And while that may sound like a thing for fancy rich people only, Sallie designed Ellevest to be accessible to people of all income levels — the most expensive membership is just 9 bucks a month. Financial advice from someone who’s not an old guy in a suit? We like it.
Nothing is more inspiring than when a woman says screw it and decides to take a huge risk, especially when there is no guarantee of success. Divya Nag did just this when she dropped out of Stanford at 20 to start her own biomedical company, pioneering a method of stem cell research that made it easier to tailor people’s medications to their genetic needs and dispositions. After founding a few other medical technology startups, she eventually made her way to Apple, where she’s currently the Director of Health. Divya’s work has always been about putting people in control of their health and bodies, and that’s something that we’ve been about since day one.