Did you know that women make up 57% of the total U.S. labor force? So, please—save your “You must be the secretary.”
You may have missed the memo that women don't belong in the kitchen—they belong in the House and Senate. Not only that, but women belong in the C-suite and boardroom—and there are more inspiring women playing at the executive level than ever before.
There is still a ton of work to be done to create a level playing field. For example—brace yourselves—the gender gap is still very real in terms of salary. The median weekly earnings of women who were full-time wage and salary workers were $669—which is about 81% of men’s $824 equivalent.
But, while many fight to rectify that issue of equality, we have a lot of really cool things to celebrate as women.
Over the past few decades, many fearless and creative women have taken on the business world, blazing a new path for young girls to aspire to. These women have shaped the world of marketing and design with their hard work, killer instincts, and incomparable drive.
Here are 10 quotes and info on the badass, influential women that are a force to be reckoned with in the world of business and design:
Trailblazing Women in Marketing
Maggie Chan Jones, CEO & Founder, Tenshey
“It’s OK to not start out with your dream job, as long as you keep the dream in sight while you work to get there. If you focus on that, eventually you can get there.” —Maggie Chan Jones
A native of Hong Kong, Maggie and her family moved to the United States when she was just 14 years old so she could benefit from a quality education. Since then, Maggie earned an MBA from Cornell and has quickly become a trailblazer in the world of marketing—and when we say trailblazer, we mean it. She was named the 15th “Most Influential CMO of 2017” by Forbes. She was also named the first female Chief Marketing Officer of SAP, the world’s largest enterprise application provider. In 2018, she left SAP to found Tenshey, a startup committed to advancing gender diversity through executive coaching.
Bozoma Saint John, CMO, Endeavor
“It’s our job as marketers and brand professionals to nurture the brand and calm it down when it’s angry and to encourage when it’s trying to grow.” —Bozoma Saint John
It’s hard not to be in awe of Bozoma Saint John. From being born in Ghana and moving 7,000 miles away to Colorado Springs at the young age of 13 to becoming a rockstar marketing executive on the West Cost, Bozoma's story is nothing short of inspiring and remarkable. (Personally, I pride myself on days that I even leave the house. Admit it, some days this is you too. We are not worthy of Bozoma).
After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in African American Studies and English, Bozoma went on to work in executive and marketing roles for fashion brand Ashley Stewart, Spike Lee’s advertising agency DDB, Arnold Worldwide, Beats, Apple Music & iTunes, and Uber.
Presently, Bozoma is the Chief Marketing Officer at Endeavor, one of the world’s leading talent agencies. She was named a “Top Woman in Music” in 2015 and again in 2016 by Billboard and honored as one of the “50 Most Creative People of 2016” by Ad Age.
Leslie Berland, CMO, Twitter
“The imperative I lay down with my team is to do fewer things better. It’s not about doing the highest volume of things but about weeding out unnecessary activity. The more you focus on what you’re going to stop doing, the clearer what’s important becomes. When we diligently focus on the essential, we see stronger results—both internally and externally.” —Leslie Berland
A big gun of the social media world, Leslie Berland serves not only as the Chief Marketing Officer for Twitter, but also as their Head of People. Leslie has been at Twitter for the past 3 years and is an Ad Council board member.
Previously, Leslie has held executive positions at Make-A-Wish America, American Express, GCI Health, and Ketchum. Leslie graduate from Boston University with a degree in Communications.
Ann Lewnes, CMO, Adobe
“Seize every opportunity that comes your way—even ones that may not seem very glamorous—and advocate for yourself. I was once at a women’s event where a young woman asked me how to deal with ‘demeaning requests, like planning the company holiday party.’ I told her that I actually love to plan events. You can view requests as demeaning or as great opportunities to show your creativity, ability to get results, and willingness to take on a project outside of your daily scope. I have done a lot of things that people might find beneath them, and I have always done my best.
My second piece of advice is to advocate for yourself. When I was just starting out, a more senior male colleague of mine left the company and recommended me for his role. He generously told me his salary to ensure that I got what was due to me. I took the role and was not offered the higher salary, so I marched into my new boss’s office and asked for it. And I got it.”—Ann Lewnes
Passionate about creativity and media since childhood, Ann Lewnes transformed her passion into a profession with drive, tenacity, and her natural leadership skills. Ann has been the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Adobe for over 13 years.
Prior to her position at Adobe, Anne served as the Vice President of Marketing at Intel for 21 years. During her formative years, Ann studied Political Science and Journalism at Lehigh University.
Maryam Banikarim, Executive Advisor, Cove Hill Partners
“A great champion of purpose is a cheerleader, captain, coach. Sometimes you cheer others on from the sidelines. Sometimes you authoritatively call the shots. Sometimes you are on the field leading the play–rolling up your sleeves and doing. A good purpose champion knows when to wear each hat, and how to wear it successfully.” —Maryam Banikarim
Sometimes revolutionary people come from countries plagued by political turmoil. As a child born in Iran, Mariyam Banikarim is proof of such. Her family fled Iran in 1979, traveling to Paris and then California in search of a better and safer life.
After arriving in the states, Maryam made a swift climb up the marketing ladder. She earned her MBA in Columbia University and went on to hold executive positions at Univision, NBC Universal, the Gannet Corporation, Hyatt Hotels, Cove Hill Partners, and Columbia University. She is also the Chairman of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Board of Directors.
Marisa Thalberg, CMO, Taco Bell
“When you’re a good leader, it’s the invisible stuff that matters even more than the obviously visible stuff.”—Marisa Thalberg
Marisa Thalberg’s super power is doubling as a marketing executive and a boss mom. She is the Global Chief Brand Officer at Taco Bell and the founder of Executive Moms, an organization that provides support and networking to mothers who also double as working professionals.
In the past, Marisa has held executive positions at Estée Lauder, Revlon, Sure Fit Inc., and Unilever Cosmetics. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in American Civilization.
Trailblazing Women in Design
Shannon Washington, SVP & Creative Director, Deutsch
“Find comfort in what is happening in your professional and personal life in the now.
Allow the expectations that you set for yourself to be flexible, remain proactive but embrace the spontaneity that comes with this life, it’s what makes everything worth it.
Besides you’d be bored.” —Shannon Washington
Deemed a unicorn, it’s no surprise that Shannon Washington borders on being a mystical entity in the world of modern design. She is the creative woman-power behind many of the cosmetic television advertisements you see online and on screen.
Shannon studied Design and Photography at Howard University before taking on art direction positions at Current TV, Carol H. Williams Advertising, MKTG, Iris, Blue Flame, Mirrorball, beauty@gotham, Grey NY, and Droga5. Presently, Shannon is the Senior Vice President and Group Creative Director at Deutsch. She is also the recipient of the 2018 One Club/ADCOLOR Award for “Creative Excellence.”
On her site, Shannon writes that in her spare time, she's "actively adding to the discourse around the importance and power of women in advertising through paneling and public conversations.” We love an active women’s advocate. Shannon’s efforts can be seen in her many interviews and talking engagements.
Jessica Walsh, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Sagmeister & Walsh
“Do things that matter, things that will make those better, and things that will make you better.”—Jessica Walsh
Jessica Walsh is best known for two things: her impressive design career and her trademark bangs.
Innately talented from a young age, Jessica learned how to code websites as a child before eventually attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Post graduate, she entered an economy down on its luck. Despite this, she turned down a six-figure paying job at Apple to intern with Paula Scher at Pentagram.
While many jump to criticize her bold move, Jessica was confident in her vision and career aspirations. Her dream was to work on a large range of projects rather than be confined to a single brand.
Jessica’s risky move allowed her to do just that. She moved quickly through the ranks of the design world and became known for distinct style, utilizing bright colors in dramatic and exaggerated photo illustrations and type experiments. Before long, she became the first and only partner of Stefan Sagmeister’s esteemed design agency at the ripe age of 25. As of 2012, the agency goes by the name Sagmeister & Walsh.
Since becoming a partner, Jessica has made memorable branding campaigns for several companies, published books, taught at the School of Visual Arts, and founded Ladies, Wine, & Design, a community that with several nationwide meetup groups to create inclusive and supportive spaces for women in design.
OK, I’m done gushing now.
Della Mathew, Group Creative Director, Ogilvy
“Please don’t be invisible early in your career—the industry needs you, brands need you. We’re starving for your point of view.” —Della Mathew
Della Mathew is an award-winning creative director—and you may not know her name, but you definitely know her work. She is the creative power behind many campaigns of household brands—such as IKEA, Heineken, Kodak, Minute Maid, Hyatt Hotels, Hershey’s, Coca-Cola, Stolichnaya, and Philips.
Della got her degree in Graphic Design from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Presently, Della is a Group Creative Director at Ogilvy in NYC.
Previously, she has been a Creative Director for Arnold Worldwide and Publicis. Catch Della speak at a design conference. She recently gave an inspiring talk at the 3% Movement Conference.
Jessica Hische, Freelance Extraordinaire and Educator
“Every new thing you make will be (should be) the nicest thing you’ve made so far, because you’re learning and getting better with each and every new project.” —Jessica Hische
Her lettering has graced hundreds of books, print materials, and even a Wes Anderson film. Jessica Hische caught the eye of the design world quickly after graduating from Temple University.
Less than a decade after graduating, she was named one of the Forbes “30 Under 30 in Art and Design,” “New Visual Artists” by Print magazine, and Art Directors Club “Young Gun.”
She is well known for her personal projects, the “Daily Drop Cap” and the “Should I Work For Free?” online flowchart. Her lettering is distinct in its fluid and detailed nature.
Since becoming an esteemed lettering artist and illustrator, Jessica has traveled the world speaking about design and has spread her knowledge through online skill building communities, such as Skillshare.
We both know our appreciation shouldn't be limited to a single day or a single month a year. Our immeasurable value and the great strides we've taken should be recognized every day!
Know that your efforts are seen and that one day, little girls of the world who look up to you will be the CEOs and leading creatives of tomorrow.
As a woman-owned business, we’re very proud of the dedicated and talented women (and men) on the Hudson Fusion team that innovate and brighten our days regularly.