Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Winners! 12 Women to Watch in 2012

When we asked for nominations for our Women to Watch in 2012 awards, we expected some pretty awesome women—but you blew us away. We couldn’t have imagined the number of incredible profiles we would receive.

In just a week, we were flooded by nominations for women who are changing the world—challenging the norms in media, business, and education, creating the products that will define tomorrow, and saving lives in the developing world.

It was tough, but we narrowed it down to a fabulous dozen who have big stuff planned for 2012. We can’t wait to watch this year to see what they have in store—for themselves, and for the world.

Leslie Bradshaw

Named one of the top five female executives in the tech industry and a Top Woman in Tech Under 30 , Leslie Bradshaw is the operational force behindJESS3 , an internationally known creative interactive agency that she describes as being “as much BBDO as we are Facebook and Pixar.”

Her impressive client list already includes Nike, Google (check out the latest: Google Politics ), and Intel—including a several major initiatives set to launch within the next few weeks. The Wall Street Journal calls Bradshaw the “brains” driving the company forward—and we can’t wait to see where she takes it next. Follow her @LeslieBradshaw or @JESS3 .

Shaherose Charania

Not a day goes by when someone isn’t asking “where are the women in tech?,” but Shaherose Charania (named one of the Most Influential Women in Technology by Fast Company in 2010) is trying to change that. As the co-founder of Women 2.0 , an emerging media company aimed at increasing the number of female founders launching scalable technology ventures, she helps entrepreneurs find a network, resources, and knowledge to take their companies from from idea to launch.

Charania is also currently leading Founder Labs , an early stage incubator focused on new mobile ideas. Follow her @shaherose .

Keya Dannenbaum

2012 is a huge year for politics, which likely means it will also be a huge one for ElectNext , the brainchild of Keya Dannenbaum. The site works like an eHarmony for elections, matching you with your candidates based on what matters most to you, and helping you vote all the way down your ballot.

Dannenbaum got the idea working on political campaigns (Hillary Clinton in 2008 followed by two years at the city level), where she saw a vast drop in levels of political interest, knowledge, and participation from the national to the local level. Then, when she found herself “too busy” with the demands of her Wharton MBA program and neglected to vote in the 2010 midterm elections, she became determined to find a solution. We think it will be a solution for everyone else, too. Follow her @electnext.

Danielle Fong

Some call it greentech’s holy grail : finding an economical way to store energy from sources like wind and solar energy. Accomplish that, and renewable energy could finally compete on a level playing field with dirty fossil fuels.

And the person who’s leading the charge is 24-year-old Danielle Fong, who’s company, LightSail Energy , is working on a “ potentially game-changing ” energy storage solution. Fong tells Forbes (where she was named one of the 30 Under 30 Rising Stars in Energy) that she hopes to make “renewables the choice for almost everywhere on our planet” within just 10 years. Check her out at .

Dr. Elizabeth Iorns

Elizabeth Iorns , an assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, isn’t just conducting breast cancer research—she’s changing the way research is done as a whole. In May 2011, she co-foundedScience Exchange , an online marketplace for crowd-sourcing science experiments (or “an eBay of science”) that could “ drastically change the way in which scientists do research .”

As CEO, Elizabeth has already helped the company secure major partnerships with UCSF, Eagle-i, Peter Thiel’s Breakout Labs, and the Neuroscience Information Framework (plus landed a spot at Y Combinator). Follow her @elizabethiorns .

Finding Your Path: Making it on Your Own

We spend the first 20 years of our lives being asked what we want to be when we grow up. Then we spend the next 20 finding out for ourselves.

And though that can be exciting, it’s not easy. The first part of our lives is, with few exceptions, a step-by-step, guided path: Elementary school. High school. College. But after that, the roadmap stops. While you might have dreams and ideas of what you want to achieve in your career, the path getting there isn’t easily paved. And it’s different for everyone.

That’s why we’re bringing you this series: Over the next few months,40:20 Vision will feature successful 40-something women sharing their stories on how they found their career path, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. While everyone’s career path is ultimately different, we also know there’s a lot we can learn from the journeys of those who’ve been there.

Michelle Madhok, CEO and Founder, SheFinds Media

What did you want to be when you were a kid? Barbie. She had all the cool stuff.

Education: University of California at Berkeley, BS Communications; Northwestern University, MS, Marketing

First job: Promotion Marketing Manager for CBS Broadcasting

Secret hiring tip: If they aren’t smiling in their Facebook photo, don’t hire them.

Three closet staples every 20-something should have: I believe in designer shoes, statement jewelry , and at least one designer handbag.

Background: Michelle Madhok’s first job was in many ways her dream job­—no boss, lots of freedom, meeting tons of interesting people. But as she climbed the corporate ladder—leading New Media at CBS and running Women’s Content at AOL, she increasingly felt stifled by the large company environment. She longed to be able to call the shots without the red tape or hierarchy.

She had to wait 10 years to get her dream back—but she did. When she was laid off at AOL, her severance package (combined with her desire to never again have a boss) provided the window of opportunity she needed to startSheFinds in 2004. The first site to give women everywhere instant access to the latest trends and fashionable deals, SheFinds has been explosively successful, now incorporating two new brands (MomFinds and BrideFinds) and grossing in the seven figures.

With a fun nature, refreshing honesty, and street smarts (whether that street is Park Avenue or Main Street), Madhok is an inspiration to anyone who’s ever thought about starting her own company . Read on to find out how she re-captured her dream.

Shortly after getting your Master’s degree, you ended up at the forefront of new media. How did that happen?

I interviewed at CBS and they asked me, “do you do internet?” I replied, “I have an AOL account,” and with that, they put me in charge of It was 1995. No one liked “new media.” It wasn’t sexy. It was all about big media.

Then the internet took off and I grew the department to 70 people and worked with everyone from the soap operas to Letterman.

So you should never underestimate the power of the unsexy job! What made you leave?

I was restless . So I applied and was accepted to a top program for a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. I think we all have that vision of writing the great American novel. Then I freaked out. AOL was trying to recruit me to run women’s content and I thought, “I can’t miss out on business history by locking myself in a room and writing a novel.”

What did you learn in the corporate world that helps you today?

The connections and knowing how things work gave me a head start. At AOL, I had 12 bosses in four years. So when one of the companies I deal with now goes through organizational change, I know how to finesse the relationship so we can continue to do business. You have to get back in there.

Lessons to My Younger Self: A Series by Inspiring Women

At The Daily Muse, we aim to bring you, the ambitious Gen Y woman, smart, practical, and inspirational advice for your career and your life.

In our experience, the best advice of all comes from those who have been there. Women who had big, crazy dreams—and achieved them. Who saw the glass ceiling—and crushed it. Who dealt with the same issues we deal with today—and learned from them, gathering wisdom, experience, and success along the way.

So, we’ve recruited a lineup of our role models—intelligent, influential, and inspiring women who’ve had insanely successful careers—to share with us what they wish they could tell their younger selves. We invite you to peek into the past (photos included!) of some of the most successful women around us, and glean some amazing advice from the lessons they’ve learned.

Because, let’s face it, figuring things out the hard way really kind of sucks.

Arianna Huffington, Founder of The Huffington Post

Now that we’ve got your attention, don’t worry: she’s not advocating anything inappropriate. We’re kicking off our series with the indomitable Arianna Huffington telling her younger self—and us—to get enough sleep. Sounds tough, but if the 31st Most Powerful Woman in the World can swing it, I guess we can, too. (For the record, we’d also tell her younger self that she’s a total knockout).

Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor

When Hilda Solis was in high school, her career counselor told her she wasn’t “college material” and that she should become a secretary. Turns out, she did: The U.S. Secretary of Labor. And here’s what she’d go back and tell her ambitious younger self.

Liza Donnelly, Staff Cartoonist for The New Yorker

When Liza Donnelly began selling her work to The New Yorker in 1979, she was the youngest cartoonist there and one of only three women. Things have changed, thankfully, but one thing has lingered: the failure of women to speak our minds. You must speak up, Liza tells her younger self. (She’s now making up for lost time at TED, the United Nations, and on TV interviews worldwide.)

Cindy Gallop, Founder and CEO of If We Ran the World

From the moment we’re born, the world conspires to make us feel insecure, says Cindy Gallop. And she wants to change that: she seeks to redefine the way society thinks an older woman should act and look, and she would remind her younger self that she’s beautiful—exactly the way she is (we agree).

Sandy Jen, Founder of Meebo

You’d think that, as an executive of one of the country’s fastest growing Internet companies, Sandy Jen probably stresses quite a bit. But that’s exactly what she tells her younger self not to do. Because, while there are lots of things to worry about, there are many more you’ll miss if that stress consumes you.

What it’s Like Working at a Major Art Museum

Whether you’ve wandered through the soaring rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum and wondered what it takes to get art on the (rounded) walls or you’re considering a career in the arts , look no further.

We caught up with Nancy Spector, deputy director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator at the Guggenheim Museum to hear from a leader in the field and to get a glimpse at the balancing act required to be at the helm of one of the world’s most prestigious modern art museums. Spector generously shared her insights on art in the digital age, starting out in the industry as an intern (writer’s note: I did, too) and the first work of art that had an impact on her.

Can you describe what being the deputy director and chief curator of a world-class art museum entails?

In a few words, I would say that it is an intense balancing act. As a deputy director working closely with director Richard Armstrong, I am responsible for content development at the Guggenheim in New York but also at our affiliates in Bilbao, Venice, and Abu Dhabi (which is currently in development). I think about the institution in a global context and what that means for our programming, our collection, and our engagement in cultures around the world.

Then there is the more granular management of our exhibition calendar, working with the individual curators to best realize their programs, ensuring we stay on mission, produce new scholarship, and foreground innovation. We are all fundraisers at the museum, so a lot of my time is also dedicated to cultivating patrons, helping to identify individual donors and sponsors, and formulating initiatives that might attract support. As a curator, I also have my own exhibition projects to research and produce, which has always been the core of my practice.

What does a typical day in your office look like?

I don’t think I ever have a “typical” day to cite. I can be in back-to-back meetings with the other curators, departmental managers, board members, or guests. Topics range from programming discussions, calendar andbudget reviews , strategic planning, acquisition preparation, collection management policy, and installation reviews, to name a few. But I can also be in the library or writing for much of the day. Then there are gallery and studio visits, for which I try to reserve time.

How do you balance the research and exhibitions portion of being a curator with the administrative duties of running a cultural institution; how do you wear both hats?

I try to block out time for research, reading, and writing in advance on my calendar so that I have days without meetings. But, to be honest, much of the creative work gets done “after hours,” if there is such a thing anymore.