We honed in on a select few women we admire who are launching and scaling female-forward businesses spanning politics, the economy and culture. Given that International Women’s Day is March 8th – and (go figure) March is also Women’s History Month – we’ve rounded up some of the most influential ladies we know to follow for inspiration. They would make our list any month of the year.
Cameron Russell – @cameronrussell
Occupation: Model and activist
What to know: Russell’s leadership began with a TED Talk on the perils of “image,” drawing inspiration from her own experiences as a woman in the fashion industry. She’s since become a vocal advocate for women’s rights, particularly in the realm of sexual harassment; in October 2017, she dedicated her feed to anonymously posting stories like this one on behalf of fellow models who had experienced harrowing incidences of abuse in the fashion industry.
Jodi Kantor – @jodikantor
Occupation: Investigative journalist
What to know: Alongside her colleague Megan Twohey, Kantor broke the Harvey Weinstein story for The New York Times, helping to set the stage for the explosive #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, while winning a Pulitzer Prize in the process.
Rachel Cargle – @rachel.cargle
Occupation: Writer and lecturer
What to know: Pointing to the country’s deep-seeded history of racism and segregation, Cargle makes impassioned arguments on behalf of marginalized women’s voices.
Audrey Gelman – @audreygelman
Occupation: CEO and co-founder of The Wing
What to know: Gelman is the embodiment of a the next-generation female executive, thanks in part to The Wing, her pioneering, female-only work space and community. She’s highly engaged in political issues, often working from a local level to shore up support for progressive candidates.
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Samantha Rothenberg – @violetclair
Occupation: Comic and illustrator
What to know: Using Instagram as her medium, Rothenberg has developed a loyal following for her bitingly funny and often-acerbic comics that are largely focused on dating, love and relationships – all with a feminist twist. No subject is off limits – from oral sex to the shameless marketing of yogurt to women, Rothenberg tackles it all, often with LOL results.
Tammy Duckworth – @senduckworth
Occupation: U.S. Senator for Illinois
What to know: Duckworth is the first sitting senator to give birth while in office, breaking new ground for women. A former Iraq vet who lost both of her legs in combat, Duckworth is a vocal advocate for affordable childcare for all.
Liz Plank – @feministabulous
Occupation: Journalist and host of Vox Media’s “Consider It”
What to know: Highly engaged on issues like gender equality, Plank is a fierce advocate for women and minorities, including POC and the LGBTQ community. Besides her own program on Vox Media, she’s also a regular political commentator on outlets like MSNBC.
Whitney Wolfe Herd – @whitney
Occupation: Founder and CEO, Bumble
What to know: By changing the male-oriented dynamic around dating with her trailblazing app, Bumble, Herd is a staunch advocate for women’s rights. Herd is particularly passionate about supporting women in business, launching the Bumble Fund to contribute VC capital to female-led businesses.