Meet the Powerful Women Who Run Companies That Help Women

© Bill Diodato - Getty Images

By Vanessa Paredes, Redbook

The month of March is dedicated to Women's History and celebrating the amazing accomplishments of ladies from the past and present. According to CNBC, a record number of women now hold top positions at Fortune 500 companies, but women still only make up about 6% of CEO spots at companies on Fortune's list. We're spotlighting some of these fabulous females who are leading successful companies aimed to inspire and empower other women. 

Sara Blakely, Spanx

© Photo Courtesy of Spanx

Shapewear is having a moment right now - but Spanx has been a leader in creating practical fashion solutions for women for over 20 years. It all started when Spanx founder and CEO Sara Blakely came up with the concept of the perfect undergarment by cutting up a pair of pantyhose for herself. Today, Spanx is not only a household name in shapewear, but has also expanded into making top selling items including denim, activewear and leggings that are deeply loved by women all over the world. Blakely gave us a glimpse at her journey with Spanx: "I started Spanx 20 years ago with no business or fashion experience, but I had a purpose. And that purpose was to elevate women. I saw the limited options my mom and grandmothers had and that lit a fire inside me to break barriers and do things differently. I believe when women come together, magical things happen." Don't miss the self-made billionaire's inspirational messages on her Instagram, like her famous #MugShotMondays.

Beatrice Dixon, The Honey Pot Company

© Photo Courtesy of The Honey Pot Company

The Honey Pot Company was created by CEO and founder Beatrice Dixon to finally offer women plant-based feminine care products that are natural (free of chemicals, parabens, carcinogens and sulfates). Dixon has transformed her business into a multi-million dollar company that sells over 30 plant-based feminine care products, giving women options that were hard to come by not too long ago. "It’s truly a gift being able to lead a team of capable, talented women! We have an awesome opportunity to make a huge difference in the world and that’s what inspires me to get up everyday and make this company a household name. Working with women for women is the ultimate blessing and I’m eternally grateful for getting to live my best life." expressed Dixon.

Kate Somerville, Kate Somerville Skincare

© Photo Courtesy of Kate Somerville

Anyone who's ever struggled with acne has probably come across Kate Somerville's magical pink potion known as Eradikate at one point or another. But some may not realize that the skincare line has been around for over 25 years, and it all started at Somerville's well known Skin Health Experts Clinic in Los Angeles. She shared her journey of becoming one of the most famous estheticians in the world: “Everyone’s journey is different. There were definitely roadblocks for me in the beginning – and still are to this day! When I started out, the industry was dominated by male doctor brands. I was determined to break into the industry – it didn’t matter that I was a woman, it didn’t matter that I was an esthetician. When there was a 'no' or a door slammed I didn’t give up. Even my own dad said to me, 'You can’t be the most famous esthetician in the world.' I said to him, 'Yes I can. Watch me.' If you have the determination and the knowledge to back it up you can do anything."

Tia Mowry, Anser

© Photo Courtesy of Anser

You may remember Tia Mowry from the iconic series Sister, Sister - but the famous twin is now running Anser, a company that provides women with supplements packed with clean ingredients, essential vitamins and high-quality nutrients that fuel the body. Mowry explained that she saw a void in the wellness space for diverse women, which led to the development of Anser. Her aim is to encourage and inspire women to be proactive about wellness, starting with their daily supplements. "I wanted to start a conversation with consumers that didn’t feel included in the wellness space by creating a product that was affordable without sacrificing quality. I feel like a lot of women tend to always put others first, but my goal is for them to take care of themselves so that they can be the best mom, entrepreneur, wife, girlfriend, friend, that they can be. Anser is all about encouraging diverse women to take charge of their health and meditate on the statement "self-care isn’t selfish." said Mowry.

Lea Von Bidder, AVA

© Photo Courtesy of AVA

29-year-old CEO Lea von Bidder created Ava, a fertility tracking bracelet that has helped over 30,000 women (to date) get pregnant. Their mission is to advance women’s reproductive health by bringing together artificial intelligence and clinical research to help women understand their ovulation cycles and make their lives easier when it comes to conceiving. "I have always been passionate about women’s empowerment and can’t believe how lucky I am to be able to combine my work and passion on a daily basis. Ava aims to introduce and drive clinical research in women’s health and wants to improve the standard of care for women across all stages of their reproductive life. That’s the purpose I wake up to every single day and it’s deeply meaningful to me. I have clearly found 'my thing' that I want to contribute with and feel so grateful to have been able to do so." explained Bidder.

Vicky Tsai, Tatcha

© Photo Courtesy of Tatcha

Vicky Tsai founded Tatcha, a luxe skincare line that shares classical Japanese beauty secrets with the entire world. Tsai suffered from acute dermatitis and, while on a trip to Kyoto, she had an encounter with a modern-day geisha that inspired her to create a line of products focused on natural ingredients that were tried and true in Japan for generations. Ingredients include green tea, rice and algae. Tsai shared what is rewarding about being the founder to Tatcha: “There is a Japanese concept called ikigai that I love. It refers to a person’s reason for being and is found at the intersection of what you are good at, what you like to do and what the world needs. When you work in this sweet spot, passion and purpose merge into one and that’s what Tatcha has been for me. I feel honored every day that I get to be a part of a company that cares for women, develops women leaders and funds girls’ education around the world."

Susie Bergquist, Salt + Umber

© Photo Courtesy of Salt + Umber

Salt + Umber's mission is to make beautiful handmade shoes for women using minimal machinery, which reduces their carbon footprint. Recycled materials are also incorporated into the design and production process, and the company stays away from using chemicals that are washed back into the eco system. The woman behind these chic yet sustainable shoes is Susie Bergquist, who caters to the eco-conscious customers looking for an accessible price point. Bergquist is paving the way for women in the footwear space: "I am proud to be a female founder of a business that is dedicated to making women feeling empowered. If you take a look at some of the big names in footwear, you will find that a majority of them are men’s names. I always found it ironic that there were so many women out there wearing shoes that had a man’s name for a brand/logo. As a woman, I feel that I truly understand my customer and what she’s looking for in a shoe and incorporate that into each of Salt + Umber’s designs. I’m in the business of making women feel confident with their wardrobe choices. When you look good, you feel good."

Erin Loos Cutraro, She Should Run

© Photo Courtesy of She Should Run

Erin Loos Cutraro is the Founder and CEO of She Should Run, a nonpartisan nonprofit promoting leadership and encouraging women from all walks of life to run for public office. Since starting her company in 2011, more than 26,000 women have been encouraged to run for office, and 18,000 more are preparing for a future in politics. Cutraro shared why she is so passionate about helping women achieve their political dreams: "We know that political power is a pillar that is absolutely necessary for the health of our country, the health of our society — but right now, women are underrepresented at all levels in the 500,000+ elected offices across the U.S. While there is no one solution to this, it gives me comfort and energy to be working in a space that focuses on closing that gender gap, to be part of a solution that enables young girls to be whoever they want to be."

Alina Morse, Zolli Candy

© Photo Courtesy of Zolli Candy

14-year-old Alina Morse invented candy that cleans teeth, giving moms an alternative to sugary candies for their kids. Morse is the youngest INC. 5000 CEO, and her company is one of INC.’s Fastest Growing Private Companies as of last year. She is also the youngest person to ever appear on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine and have products in big name retailers like Walmart and Amazon. Morse expressed that "being able to help other women, especially moms, keep their families smiling and healthy with Zolli Candy, is the greatest honor of running my business. With so many choices to make in a day on behalf of their family, I’m stoked that rewarding kids with candy is now an easy decision."

Kate Torgersen, Milk Stork

© Photo Courtesy of Milk Stork

Milk Stork is the first-ever breast milk shipping company which has delivered more than 3,300,000 ounces of breast milk - helping traveling moms maintain their commitment to breastfeeding. Founder and CEO Kate Torgersen came up with the concept when she found herself in the difficult situation of juggling business trips and breastfeeding her twins and knew there could be a simple solution to help working women everywhere. "I never expected motherhood to be my gateway to entrepreneurship, but over the past 5 years, it has allowed me to support and empower an entire generation of new moms. Without MilkStork, these moms would have had to make difficult choices when it came to feeding their babies and taking a work trip." said Torgersen.

Vanessa Yakobson, Blo Blow Dry Bar

© Photo Courtesy of Blo Blow Dry Bar

Before acquiring North America’s original blow dry bar, Vanessa Yakobson was a Blo customer herself and immediately saw the appeal of its business model. Fast-forward to today...Vanessa is not only a partner in the company, but sits at the helm as CEO. She runs the worlds largest blow dry franchise geared toward making women's lives easier when it comes to getting a quick blowout sans cut and color. "Our mission is to uplift and enhance the lives of those in our Blo community and this extends beyond the female customers we serve. Many of the employees in our bars are women and many of our franchise partners are women, and it is extremely rewarding to provide them with a meaningful, fulfilling career opportunity." said Yakobson.

Christine Currence, Badgley Mischka

© Photo Courtesy of Badgley Mischka

Brides will recognize the famous formal fashion brand, Badgley Mischka, but may not realize the president (and now owner) of the company is indeed a woman. Christine Currence runs the show at this fashion label that includes apparel, footwear, handbags, eyewear, and jewelry. She believes women can be leaders just as much as their male counterparts. “What could be more rewarding than being able to set an example for young women in the fashion industry? You can be in the C-suite; you can be an entrepreneur; you can privatize and run a multi-million dollar global company… and the reason I know this is because that is precisely what I have accomplished. I am proud to have never given up on my dream and have worked extremely hard to accomplish these goals, with amazing female partners by my side." Currence shared.

Dr. Rosina Racioppi, WOMEN Unlimited

© Photo Courtesy of WOMEN Unlimited

Dr. Rosina Racioppi is the CEO and president behind WOMEN Unlimited, an organization focused on developing female leaders in major corporations including Prudential, Colgate, and Adobe. Dr. Racioppi's mission is to help women advance in their careers: "Every day, I am surrounded by bright and powerful women who are committed to taking their careers to new heights. I've also had the distinct pleasure of working with business leaders who are passionate about changing the corporate landscape, making gender parity a priority and pushing women to feel confident in taking C-Suite positions. I believe women in corporate America are now poised for an explosion in representation at more senior levels. It's truly been an honor over the last 25 years to see the thousands of women I've worked with strengthen themselves professionally." she told Redbook. You can learn more about Dr. Racioppi's efforts in empowering women in her latest book Relationships Matter, which explores how women can leverage relationships to inform their career development and establish themselves as leaders.

See more at: Redbook



BestLife Insider - Health, Lifestyle, Travel and More ...: Meet the Powerful Women Who Run Companies That Help Women
Meet the Powerful Women Who Run Companies That Help Women
BestLife Insider - Health, Lifestyle, Travel and More ...
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