It was quite the weekend watching the furious pace at which people across social networks pointed out how badly Forbes had screwed up their annual list of most innovative people in business – with 99 men and only one woman.

Personally, when I saw it, my initial reaction was – yep – no big surprise. Followed by anger that in the year 2019 we are still dealing with this!

As I reflected on it more, I thought about how often I have heard the “excuse” that it’s just too hard to FIND the qualified women to get the board roles, C-Suite roles and other leadership roles to enable us to change this picture.

And the truth is – if you’re a high powered dude, it’s possible that your social business circle isn’t naturally getting you into proximity with the enormous amounts of powerful talented women out there.

All I have to do is think about the years of business dinners I’ve had with the power dudes in my life, and how different the “scene” is compared to an afternoon hanging out at The Wing.

So with that in mind, just like Claire Diaz Ortiz, I want to help!

What can you do, if you’re someone who has uttered the above words before? How do you find talented women to fill your innovation lists, C-Suite roles, management ranks and board positions?

  1. Go to the website and sign up right now – participate in a dinner where you can meet some of the most exceptionally talented, experienced and innovative women I know.
  2. Write me back in the comments – and I will gladly ask the badass woman of your choice (on the list below) if I can make an introduction for you.


And yes – per my original frustrated tweet – I came up with this list without googling. It didn’t take long to get over 100.


For the record – I have not included the obvious giants of leadership that should have been on the original Forbes list (hello – Jacinda Ardern – bringing the freshest perspective to leading a country that we’ve all seen in a while), or Michelle Obama (Lets MOVE people!), or Indra Nooyi Angela Ahrendts, Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, Kara Swisher, Abby Wambach, Allyson Felix, Arianna Huffington, Condoleezza Rice, Oprah… I could go on… and on… and on. I mean it’s so freeken easy to find these examples!


For today, I want to focus on women of ALL levels that you should know.


Herewith – SRO’s list of awesome badass lady bosses:


  • Angela Duckworth – professor extraordinaire and author of the best selling book GRIT
  • Tiffany Dufu – founder of the CRU
  • Jocelyn Mangan – founder of
  • Alexa Von Tobel – changing the game in fintech
  • Carla Pineyro Sublett – re-inventing what it looks like for employees to “Thrive”
  • Danielle Applestone – bringing back jobs for women in the spirit of Rosie the Riveter
  • Kim Kingsley – taking Air BNB into the content business
  • Shabnam Mogharabi – founder of SoulPancake – producer extraordinaire
  • Meredith Kopit Levien – turning the NY Times into a digital powerhouse
  • Jan Singer – for showing that women in business and life are super heroes
  • Stacey Brown Philpot – driving business results at Task Rabbit through diversity
  • Tonya Hinch – teaching the future leaders of the word to do the right thing
  • Ann Mei Chang – getting Mayor Pete onto the national stage
  • Audrey Marshall – changing the game on our kids health
  • Beth Brooke Marciniak – pioneering diversity and inclusion in the finance world
  • Carla Vernon – bringing diversity and inclusion to General Mills
  • Jean Brownhill – diminishing the gender gap in the construction industry
  • Julia Hartz – helping entrepreneurs like me bring humanity together
  • Kim Newton – leading the way we recognize those important moments in life at Hallmark
  • Lisa Skeete Tatum – getting experienced diverse workers back into the work force
  • Melanie Whelan – showing what real leadership looks like in the eye of the storm
  • Michelle Brooke Marciniak – making sleep better for all of us
  • Nina Vaca – starting the fastest growing woman owned business in the US
  • Sheila Marcelo – re-inventing how we care for those around us
  • Tracey Abbott – bringing values based leadership to private equity
  • Tracy Britt Cool – being the female powerhouse of Berkshire Hathaway
  • Trish Lucasik – building a giant CPG career before bolding stepping into the world of startups
  • Roberta Kaplan – getting America to legalize marriage equality and fighting for women’s rights everywhere
  • Michelle Kydd Lee – because – well – #TIMESUP
  • Chelsea Winstanley – fighting to put untold stories of diverse people and communities on the big screen
  • Carla Hassan – fighting for diversity and equality to drive innovation across multiple industries
  • Morgan Flatley – consistently innovating the biggest food and beverage brands we know
  • Andrea Fairchild – figuring out how to turn athletes into enterprises
  • Ferrell McDonald – bringing entertainment and brand building together
  • Nicola Parton – reinventing client service in the insurance industry
  • Kirsty Graham – leading in the world of pharma
  • Geralyn Cooper Smith – decades of a career upgrading lives
  • Kirsten Nevill Manning – changing the game on how teachers pay teachers to grow together
  • Janet Shamlian – consistently fighting for the important role of the news
  • Alli Webb – making women walk with confidence every day
  • Amrita Sen – bringing art, music and commerce together
  • Bozoma St John – for showing us what daily BADASSERY looks like
  • Liz Miersch – leading us to live the ultimate healthy lifestyle
  • Luanne Calvert – epic marketer and international adventurer leading some of the world’s great brands
  • Sage Steele – bringing badassery to sports broadcasting – every day and in every way
  • Melanie Strong – leading innovation consistently for 17 years at one of the world’s most innovative companies
  • Rosemary St Clair – for an entire career of leadership in the sports world
  • Nancy Monsarrat – one of the founders of the modern marketing approach to building “belief brands”
  • Darla Vaughn – showing big business what their real consumers care about
  • Julie Channing – building one of the fastest growing sustainability brands in the world
  • Lori Krauss – making wearing glasses awesome!
  • Kristen Wright – showing us what humanity in big business teamwork looks like
  • Sophia Amoruso – redefining what it means to be successful
  • Sunny Bates – connecting and conspiring with some of the most creative people in business
  • Claudia Batten – fueling the start up ecosystem
  • Susan Cain – starting a quiet revolution
  • Kathy Carter – bringing the Olympics back to the USA!
  • Wendy Clark – changing the game in the ad world
  • Cindy Gallop – making sex tech exciting to investors
  • Julie Rice – starting the Soul revolution
  • Elizabeth Cutler – starting the Soul revolution
  • Juliet De Baubigny – mentoring and opening up opportunities for up and coming women everywhere
  • Sarah Friar – reinventing neighborhood communities
  • Orode Doherty – pioneering in healthcare
  • Liz Dolan – #StayingNoisy and empowering women and workers everywhere
  • Renee Durocher – being the tech leader behind some of our favorite fitness innovations
  • Emily Fayette and Sherica Holmon – elevating lives
  • Shelby Lawson – teaching the older generation what the new work force can be!
  • Stacy Grant – innovating for the future of our kids health
  • Sarah Harden – bringing Sunshine and content to our daily lives
  • Hollis Heimbouch – getting great diverse thought leadership into the world
  • Rebecca Jarvis – giving lady bosses everywhere the podcast inspiration they need
  • Erica Hill – keeping the news current
  • Kerri Hoyt Pack – a builder of brands and a grower of great women leaders
  • Caroline Whaley – helping women SHINE
  • Sarah Kauss – figuring out how to make us stop disposing plastic bottles
  • Opokua Kwapong – bringing science to make our packaged beverages better for us
  • Deb Murray Lemon – bringing experience to marketing
  • Alyssa Padia Walles – bringing every day people to video games
  • Lauren Schechtman – bringing robotics into our daily lives
  • Linda Marsicano – bringing CBD to the masses
  • Amy Jo Martin – because Renegades need to learn from someone
  • Meg Matthews – bringing new generation thinking to governance
  • Tierney Remick – bringing strategy and magic to team building
  • Nilofer Merchant – helping us embrace our onlyness
  • Rachel Sklar – changing the ratio and empowering women everywhere
  • Anne Marie Slaughter – helping us understand that caring and home life needs to be valued
  • Liz Nolan – creating game changing brands
  • Heidi O’Neill – decades of leadership bringing sportswear to the masses
  • Victoria Ransom – creating a wildfire
  • Dana Rasmussen – bringing courage and innovation to teamwork
  • Vicki Reed – bringing psychology to leadership
  • Robin Rorex – Using grace to grow leaders everywhere
  • Valentina Soto – bringing amazing coffee to the burbs
  • Rachel Taulelei – following the yellowbrick road and pioneering in primary industries
  • Sarah Smith – helping young diverse up and comers get “their shot”
  • Becca Van Dyck – bringing virtual reality to the masses
  • Kully Verma – helping young people everywhere find their career and their potential
  • Jessica Waala – bringing mindfulness and self care to all
  • Gina Warren – pioneering diversity, inclusion AND empowerment
  • Lisa Wheeler – for helping fitness professionals everywhere find their voice
  • Ruth Zuckerman – for co-founding the boutique fitness movement
  • Lavinia Erico – for making fitness a lifestyle


Is there a badass woman innovator that I forgot to include?


Tag her in the comments below!




#womeninleadership #timesup #TheOther99 #99Innovators


This post was originally published on Linkedin



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