Elon Musk. Jeff Bezos. Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates. When most people think of successful business owners and outstanding internet entrepreneurs, they often times think of a balding, middle-aged man being in those positions due to society’s tailored response to male leadership roles. Being in an entrepreneurship class where 90% of the class are males, I was a little bothered by this unequal gender ratio towards the beginning of the semester. Did Grove City ladies simply not register because they were not interested in the subject material or is there a larger sociological phenomenon happening? Are women simply afraid to take risks in business transactions? Does the glass ceiling still elicit a negative response from women who are exploited for their talent while others easily climb the corporate ladder?
In a society where individualism is on the rise, more women are being encouraged to be self-sufficient and to take risks. There has been a huge increase in women in the marketplace. Women are not only using their innate, aesthetic abilities to foster creativity in modeling business plans but are leveling the playing field with some of society’s top notch, male entrepreneurs. Listed below are some of the women that are changing the face of the internet market for all entrepreneurs.
Rashmi Sinha (founder of SlideShare)
Rashmi Sinha received her education from the University of California, Berekely, and Brown University. In 2012, her company SlideShare (a platform that makes it easy to upload Powerpoint, Keynote, PDF’s, etc.) was acquired by LinkedIn and later she became a recipient (No.8) of Fortune Magazine’s Top Women Entrepreneurs awards.
Sheila Lirio Marcelo (founder of Care.com and WomenUp.org)
As a graduate Brent International School and a recipient of Harvard’s Business School Alumni Achievement Award, Marcelo founded Care.com which is a website where parents and guardians can acquire help from either certified or uncertified nannies. She also has her own website called WomenUp.org to advocate for women’s leadership opportunities in the entrepreneurial workforce. (How cool!)
Loise Wannier (founder of MyShape)
Loise Wannier is the founder of MyShape which allows women to shop for clothes specific to their body type and measurements rather than ideal body type. She has played a huge role in the body positivity movement.
Ariana Huffington (founder of the Huffington Post)
Probably the most popular of all women entrepreneurs, Ariana Huffington is the founder of the Huffington post and is estimated at a net worth of around $50 million. In February of 2011, the Huffington Post sold for $315 million making Ariana’s interest in politics and journalism worth every penny.
Alexa Von Tobel (founder of LearnVest.com)
Alexa Von Tobel has become the face of LearnVest.com which is a financial planning website dedicated to making it easy for people to make reasonable and responsible financial decisions. Von Tobel’s business plan has made it so simple for people to establish a personalized financial plan in order to save money for future expenses.
As illustrated, women entrepreneurs offer so much more than mere cosmetic advice over online social platforms. The entrepreneurial sphere of influence cannot limit women who are willing to be creative in order to shatter a glass ceiling. As someone who is passionate about minority groups and humanitarian rights, I want to see women exceed expectations in the marketplace and workforce. I am personally sick of seeing intelligent ladies sell themselves short or be labeled as commodities. Let’s be respectful and encouraging to women who are willing to take risks and improve societal conditions. Let’s celebrate all of the achievements women strive toward as they foster the courage and competency to compete in a market full of long-term risk and uncertainty.