Game-changing female leadership is a topic that is close to my heart, and I’m thrilled to announce a new annual list at CNBC, Changemakers: Women transforming business. The list will highlight 40 trailblazing women who have accomplished meaningful achievements in the past year, women from companies and organizations across all sectors of the economy, including philanthropic organizations.
Female leaders are still rare — about 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs, while female founders draw about 2% of venture capital dollars. When interviewing over 120 women and by diving into hundreds of studies on leadership for my bestselling book, “When Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, How We Can Learn From Them,” published last October, I found that the women who do defy those odds and succeed are not just exceptional, they also often are leading and disrupting business in ways that are valuable for everyone to learn from. This was augmented by what I learned in months of book events around the country: Women leaders, I’ve found, tend to succeed not because they adapt to traditional male archetypes of leadership but because they reject those norms and lead with their own authentic, unique strengths.
There is a distinct need for more coverage of innovative female leaders. When brainstorming how to expand on my book’s mission with two longtime supporters of female CEOs — Joanne Bradford, a seasoned leader of a range of Silicon Valley companies, and Full Picture CEO Desiree Gruber — they encouraged me to build an ongoing franchise. I saw how we could leverage their expertise and collaborate to launch a new CNBC initiative to tell important women’s stories.
I am excited to work on Changemakers with my colleagues at CNBC and Full Picture, a leading strategy, communications and production firm. Together, we will highlight how today’s successful women leaders are taking novel approaches to old business problems and identifying new business opportunities.
The types of women we will be featuring on the list are setting a new pattern of what it takes to innovate and thrive in a volatile business landscape. Whether it’s igniting their startup’s meteoric rise, driving exponential growth for an incumbent organization, or spearheading a new business model or management approach that has gained unprecedented traction, the women we will include have broken new ground and set the stage for others to follow.
By focusing on those who have left an indelible mark on the business world in the past year, I hope we can surface names and accomplishments that have flown under the radar.
To help us identify a diverse and inclusive list, we have created an advisory board of experienced leaders across the business and philanthropic space. They will help us determine the weight of quantitative and qualitative criteria used to select the women recognized. Joining me on the CNBC Changemakers Advisory Board:
- Marcela Miguel Berland, Latin Insights Founder & President
- Tory Burch, Tory Burch LLC Executive Chairman & Chief Creative Officer; Tory Burch Foundation Founder
- Emma Carrasco, NBCUniversal News Group Senior VP of Corporate Affairs
- Srikant Datar, Harvard Business School Dean
- Karen Finerman, Metropolitan Capital Advisors CEO & Co-Founder and CNBC Contributor
- Beth Ford, Land O’Lakes President & CEO
- Ken Frazier, General Catalyst’s Health Assurance Initiatives Chairman; former Merck Chairman & CEO
- Desiree Gruber, Full Picture Founder & CEO
- Kris Jenner, Entrepreneur, Executive Producer & star of Hulu’s “The Kardashians”
- Oscar Munoz, former United Airlines Chairman & CEO and CNBC Contributor
- Laurene Powell-Jobs, Emerson Collective Founder & President
- Merline Saintil, Rocket Lab Lead Independent Director; Black Women on Boards Co-Founder
- Sheryl Sandberg, LeanIn.org & OptionB.org Founder
- Dr. Stacy Smith, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Founder
The deadline for submissions has been extended to Friday, Nov. 17 at 11:59 pm EST.
We are inviting nominees who are female leaders at private companies and organizations (including philanthropies) with at least $25 million in revenue in at least one of the past three years or an enterprise value of at least $100 million. The list will be selected using a combination of quantitative and qualitative metrics, employing a data-driven approach to analyze the impact and significance of each nominee’s contribution to business and philanthropy in the year ending Nov. 1, 2023.
Please join me in spreading the word about this list so we can draw a diverse range of applicants.
I hope the work I do with CNBC and Full Picture will highlight new ways to lead and manage, and how a new wave of executives is transcending gender barriers and serving as role models for all. CNBC Changemakers are the new icons rewriting the rules and shaping the dynamic business landscape.