While equality is coming to the forefront in the working world, there is still a long way to play catch up with the boys. A combination of tradition, females taking leave from the workforce, and a lingering persistence of male-dominated fields can make it look like we still have eons to go to match up. However, for some women, they are rising to the top - in places where in the past it would maybe have never seemed possible. Here are some aspirational leaders out there making their mark on the world.
Melanie Perkins, Canva, Technology Start-up
Melanie Perkins is perhaps the darling of the Australian start-up scene after raising one of the biggest early-stage investment rounds from venture-backed funding with the worldwide design smash, Canva. Canva is a tool that anyone can use to create professional-looking digital design assets all via the web and with a different pricing model to traditional design tools. Melanie is now known as one of Australia’s richest women after her successes in business and was also dubbed one of Forbes ‘Top Under 30 of the Decade’ alongside others like Mark Zuckerberg.
Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Entain, iGaming
Jette Nygaard-Andersen, as her name suggests, is a Danish powerhouse who recently was appointed as CEO at Entain, the FTSE 100 company with firm holdings in sports betting and iGaming. It’s a step up for Jette, after spending around a year as non-executive director of the company. It’s also a bit of a shift for the industry - she is now the first female CEO of a major gaming company that’s listed in the UK and may well be one of the top earning online casino CEOs. While iGaming is traditionally a men’s dominated field, Jette brings her skills from the digital entertainment realm and other sports media engagements. With a talented team behind her, Entain is moving from success to success.
Mellody Hobson, Ariel Investments, Finance
Finance bros are the norm for the industry, however it’s women just like Mellody Hobson who are breaking down barriers - and making lots of money to boot. As Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments, it’s Ariel’s job to look after management and strategy at the firm. She is also a member of a number of boards across the US, including Chair of Starbucks, Director at JPMorgan Chase, and as previous Chairperson of the board at Dreamworks Animation. Back in 2015 Time Magazine named Mellody one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Serena Williams, Tennis
While there have been and will continue to be women tennis players who are well-celebrated and even talked about almost as much as their male counterparts, there is no doubt that Serena Williams has surpassed superstar status. With only a few male players as talked about in our time, Serena has been an outstanding presence on the court as well as off it, and often joined by her talented sister, Venus. After having a child in recent years, Serena has only just made her return to the court. Serena holds the title of being the number 1 player of all time in female rankings, with total prize winnings of almost $100m - plus plenty along the way in sponsorships.
Jessica Lessin, The Information, Journalism
Thought paid-for journalism was dead? Not so, for the elite of the world who can afford to drop a dollar on top quality news. Jessica Lessin is CEO of The Information, the tech industry’s equivalent to finance’s The Economist. A former Wall Street Journal alum, Lessin founded The Information in 2013, with a promise the publication would be ad-free, instead charging a steep fee for yearly access. The gamble - if it were ever a gamble considering the Wall Street Journal’s success and voracious appetites of tech-types - paid off. If you thought that online media was dead, you just need to shift your perspective of who’s willing to pay for what and when.
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