When we talk about businesses or corporations, our brain usually picturizes men dressed in formals by sitting in a spacious cabin or addressing a meeting with powerpoints and graphs, giving instructions to their subordinates or staff. But then where do we picture women in these? When we think about women in business, we mostly picture them working under these so-called male leaders or male bosses. Well, that was the case so far. Now when we look around, we can see so many talented and powerful women on the rise heading and leading top positions at renowned companies in different parts of the world by inspiring women all over the globe. But despite these massive changes, it is yet an undeniable fact that women are still on the rise or struggling to be exact, to make themselves be seen the same way as men. To be equally treated and recognized is what every woman wishes for. Surely changes are happening, and thousands of powerful and highly talented women have come up from different parts of the world, breaking the negative norms of the society that women are inferior to men and can't do anything more than household chores.
Here are some of the most influential women in the world who became successful and renowned entrepreneurs despite countless obstacles, criticism, and failures:
MOST MONEY MAKING BUSINESSES
Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder, and CEO of Bumble and Co-Founder of Tinder
Founder and CEO of Bumble and co-founder of Tinder, Whitney Wolfe Herd began her entrepreneur skills right from the age of 20 by selling bamboo tote bags and partnered with celebrity stylist, Patrick Aufdenkamp to create a non-profit organization called ‘Help Us Project’ which immediately gained national attention. Shortly after, she launched her second business ‘Tender Heart’, a clothing line, which also gained attention.
In 2012, at the age of 22, she joined the development team for the dating app, Tinder, and soon became the Vice President of Marketing. The app gained immense popularity on college campuses and generated a large no. of users globally.
But two years later, Wolfe Herd had to leave the company due to the occurrence of critical scenarios and after her departure, she filed a lawsuit against its Co-Founders for sexual harassment and discrimination.
But this was just the beginning. By the end of 2014, Wolfe Herd came back stronger with better creativity and new ideas and created a female-focused dating app called ‘Bumble’, along with Andrey Andreev (Founder of the dating app ‘Badoo’) who presented her the idea. It soon became an instant hit with over 40 million+ users globally and has only increased over the years.
Bumble provided women the advantage of initiating conversations and making the first move, helping them lead the relationship, thus following the idea of ‘ladies first’. This notion helped women instantly click with the app resulting in a wide amount of users.
In her story published in the ‘Tatler Philippines’ magazine, she says,” Though it was created by women for women, Bumble has proven to be an attractive social platform for men too. Putting women in the dating driver’s seat takes the pressure off men to feel that they must be the ones in pursuit and essentially helps recalibrate the way that we connect.”
She was named under ‘Business Insider’s (an American Financial and Business News website) 30 Most Important under 30 in Tech.
She was named as one of ‘Elle’s Women in Tech’ in 2016 and was also named under ‘Forbes 30 Under 30’ in 2017 and 2018.
In 2019, ‘Forbes’ listed her at number 72 of the ‘Top 80 Richest Self-Made Women’.
Wolfe Herd’s story proves that no matter what you face and who you are, you can always come back stronger if you have the strong will to do so.
Sophia Amoruso, Founder of ‘Girlboss Media’ and Former CEO of ‘Nasty Gal’
Sophia Amoruso is one of those inspiring women in the world, whose story can leave you dumbstruck. Despite constant challenges in her life in a series of repetitions, she pushed herself through all of it, proving to the world that she can rise back every time after each fall.
Born in San Diego, California, the renowned American businesswoman had most of her childhood in darkness.
According to Wikipedia, during her teens, she was diagnosed with depression and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and therefore had to drop out of school to deal with these issues by homeschooling. Later, she did many odd jobs at bookstores, etc and after the divorce of her parents, she moved to various places for a better life.
Her life during those days was miserable. She would go eat from dumpsters and often did stealing to help herself survive. In the midst of all these, she discovered that she had a hernia and struggled to search for life insurance to pay for her treatment.
By the age of 22, Amoruso was working as the security guard at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. During that time, she started an online eBay store named ‘Nasty Gal Vintage’ which sold vintage items and clothing. She did all the designing and product photography by herself remembering her lessons from a photography class she once attended. 6 years later by 2006, this small living room store became a 100 million dollar business.
But in 2008, she was banned from eBay due to various issues. But this only led her to continue her business as a ‘stand-alone’ online store with the name ‘Nasty Gal’.
By the year 2011, ‘Nasty Gal’ had over 23 million dollars of revenue with over 200 employees. The company became a global hit with Amoruso being a highly famous entrepreneur.
She was featured in various magazines. In 2014, her autobiography was released with the name,’ Girlboss’. Later it was adapted into a television series with the same name by Netflix.
She often felt that she lacked managerial skills and in an interview with Forbes, she admitted that she felt incompatible with the demands of being a CEO.
In 2015, Amoruso announced her resignation of being a CEO with the realization that the company needed a much better leader, and in 2016, ‘Nasty Gal’ filed for bankruptcy and Sophia stepped down her position.
Later, she found ‘Girlboss Media’ intending to encourage millennial women to follow their various pursuits. It was mostly aimed at female viewers and consists of podcasts, videos, etc..
She also conducts weekend-long instructional events called ‘Girlboss Rallies’ for young entrepreneurs.
Amoruso teaches us the hard truth about life, that it's never going to be fair. There will always be ups and downs, big and small. The only thing that matters, in the end, is how we react and cope with the situation.
For each time you fall, it's your golden chance to rise.
Vandhana Luthra, Founder of VLCC Health Care Ltd in Asia, GCC, and Africa
We can be proud of the fact that Indian women too are entering the corporate world and are doing better than ever. The story of Vandhana Luthra is one such inspiring story of how an Indian girl can break the negative societal expectations and norms if she has the willpower to do so.
One of the most influential female entrepreneurs of the country, Vandhana Luthra refused to be the typical homemaker and instead, started her beauty and wellness company VLCC, when she had her daughter. She didn't want to be tied in the chains of the typical domestic life and instead wanted to bring about change in the world and impact people’s lives.
According to Wikipedia, her mother was an ayurvedic doctor and ran a charitable trust named ‘Amar Jyoti’. This inspired her to help people and change their lives and therefore after graduation, went to Europe to gain knowledge about nutrition, food, beauty, and skincare.
With the knowledge she gained, she started her own company for beauty and wellness in 1989 in the Safdarjung Development Area in New Delhi. Over the years the company has expanded to over 13 countries and consists of 4000+ employees (according to Wikipedia) including nutrition specialists and medical and beauty professionals. VLCC has become a leader in the beauty and wellness industry at a global level.
The company also has vocational training institutes called the ‘VLCC Institute of Beauty & Nutrition’, with over 73 campuses in 55 cities across India and one in Nepal. Training around 10,000 students annually by offering multiple disciplines, the institute has grown to become India’s largest vocational education academies in the beauty and nutrition industry.
Luthra has also gone on to patron the ‘Amar Jyoti’ Charitable Trust which aims to educate children with or without disability in equal numbers, from kindergarten to Class 8.
She is also the Vice-Chairperson of the NGO named ‘Khushi’ which provides vocational training, children's education, etc, and also the member of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.
She has received many prestigious awards and recognition for her achievements and success in women entrepreneurship and was also awarded the ‘Padma Shri’ in 2013.
She has also authored 2 books named, ‘A Complete Fitness Program’ in 2011 and ‘A Good Life’ in 2013.
She was featured in various well-known magazines such as Forbes, Fortune, etc, and was featured in Fortune’s annual listing of the ‘50 Most Powerful Women in Business in India’ for five years in a row- from 2011 to 2015, inspiring millions of Indian girls worldwide.
The list doesn't end here. Many more powerful female entrepreneurs in the world broke the societal norms and have given their best to become what they are today. More women are on the rise and more girls should be encouraged into the corporate world. We should realize that women have talents, skills, capabilities, strengths, and ideas just as men and sometimes even better. Ultimately it all comes down to recognizing the talent of a human being which they completely deserve. The corporate world has thousands of women, most of them who had to quit their jobs just because they weren't given the recognition and treatment that they deserve. They also face struggles at their workplace and sometimes don’t even talk about it because of how society might treat them.
I’m not saying women should be treated as queens no matter what, but let her build her queendom and treat her like the king.