Oprah Winfrey. Meg Whitman. Sheryl Sandberg. Melinda Gates. These are just a few of the many entrepreneurial female role models who have shattered the glass ceiling and uplifted women by giving them a voice. Equally significant is that they opened a door to the C-Suite that was once only reserved for men. These women have proved their worth by redefining what a woman can achieve in the business world.
We have many women on our own leadership team and want to take the time to thank them for their contributions. We see you. NDR is proud to have you on the team.
Women’s History Month offers the perfect opportunity to honor today’s female powerhouses by celebrating their entrepreneurial success. This list includes (but is not limited to!) women who have made an impact in the entrepreneurial space over the last few years. We hope their stories inspire you as they have us.
Robinson founded The Mom Project to create a talent workplace for women who shouldn’t have to choose between family and remaining active in the workforce. To that end, they work with employers who are committed to creating a more female-friendly work environment.
The foundation achieves these goals by facilitating connections with companies that need a specific talent and expertise. In addition, the community enables working women to support each other, connect to career goal support and gain access to the resources needed to thrive in their personal journey.
Layne is a former professional surfer and world champion from Australia. She founded the Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation to prevent females from enduring the same adversity and financial hardship she encountered during her time in a male-driven sport.
Her goal is to cultivate courage and foster self-confidence for women through mentoring and financial assistance. By doing so, women are empowered to pursue their passion, invest in their future and fulfil their potential.
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As a co-founder of Confluent – a streaming data technology company – Narkhede holds the title as the youngest self-made woman entrepreneur in the 2022 IIFL Wealth Huran India Rich List.
Her influence and entrepreneurship helped Confluent reach a valuation of $4.5 billion in 2021. Companies such as Goldman Sachs, Netflix, and Uber are some of the world-renowned names that use the platform.
Narkhede’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2017, MIT Technology Review listed her as one of the top innovators under 35. The following year she was listed as one of America’s and the world’s top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes. Narkhede was also listed #33 on the list of “America’s Self-Made Women” by Forbes.
Riya is the CEO and founder of SmartCane, which she founded at the young age of 16 to help the visually impaired. The SmartCane is an electronic device that fits as a handle on walking sticks or white canes to point out obstacles and alert the user – something the 100-year-old white cane can’t do.
Her ultimate goal is to become a “unicorn person”. As she says, “Instead of building a company that has a valuation of a billion dollars, it’s the person that can impact a billion people” Riya is also an enormous advocate for women and girls in STEM & Innovation. As a speaker, she travels the globe to inspire females to pursue their interests and develop innovations in the tech space that will help solve world issues.
Ariel Beck was inspired when her mother, a successful female entrepreneur, brought her to an Amazon Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference. It was there she realized the hurdles women in business faced, including male colleagues taking credit for their ideas. When she delved further, she found that just 2.3% of all venture capital funding goes to female-founded companies.
Inspired by what she heard, Ariel founded Girls Who Start—a club to empower and create a safe space for middle and high school girls to develop leadership skills. Run by girls, for girls, her vision has grown into an international nonprofit women’s empowerment organization with 2,500 members in more than 50 chapters in the United States and around the world.
Sarraf is the founder and CEO of Roybi—an ed-tech company focused on early childhood education, artificial intelligence, and robotics. This AI-powered companion robot, which focuses on language learning & early childhood education, was named as one of the best inventions of 2019 by TIME Magazine.
The company addressed the impact on young children’s education during the pandemic by relaunching its robots to lessen parents’ worries and help kids learn while playing and staying at home. According to Sarraf, “We’re building an international community, not just hardware or software.”
In addition to the trails these female entrepreneurs are blazing, we salute every girl and woman who has made an impact in the workplace, thus contributing to equal representation and pay. To quote Melinda Gates, “When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who invest in everyone else.”
We’re proud of you.