Screenshot 2019-09-27 at 10.07.04 AM.png

How did you get into the industry? 

I came up with the idea for Lorals when I was on a vacation and needed a dental dam. I knew it would be impossible to buy one, since they’re not popular enough to be sold in most stores (particularly on the coast of Mexico!). But even if we’d been able to get one, the idea of using it felt like a bummer. I wanted to feel sexy and confident and have a wonderful and easy intimate experience, and dental dams just didn’t fit the bill. 

I started having conversations with friends about their oral sex experiences, and I heard over and over again that they said no to oral for a variety of reasons, even when they wanted to be saying yes. Some said no because they were concerned about STDs, others because they felt self-conscious, others because they’d been through sexual trauma and the experience felt too intimate, and others because their partners had beards or chapped lips and oral sex physically hurt. I realized that stylish and thin latex panties could help so many people say yes to oral sex more often, and I quit my job to create Lorals.

What else to know?

I’ve had a fun few weeks doing a variety of speaking engagements, from “Manufacturing Physical Products” at the Lesbians Who Tech Summit, to a Women of Sex Tech panel produced by XBIZ, to a workshop on oral sex and rimming techniques at the Sex Expo! 

Click to Read More


Screenshot 2019-08-20 at 11.08.09 AM.png

My Native Admission Statement: I’m an Air Force brat from North Dakota, who, as a young Black girl, knew more about farming than feminism and thought GS meant Girl Scouts, not Gloria Steinem. Now, I work on planting the seeds of feminism, have Gloria Steinem on speed dial, and live out the values of a lifelong Girl Scout: to make the world a better place. This set the stage for where I am today to lift up and amplify the voices of women and girls of color and to move money to those who need it most to make the changes in their communities. -

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

In 1973, four women — Patricia Carbine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Gloria Steinem, and Marlo Thomas — believed the fight for gender equity would progress further if women worked together. Over 45 years later, this vision holds true, as the Ms. Foundation for Women works to build women’s collective power in the U.S. to advance equity and justice for all. Today, we amplify the voices and visions of our grantee partners, women on the ground fighting for racial and gender equity. At the Ms. Foundation, we trust women to have the answers to help and heal their communities, a trust we have built our legacy on and will continue to build our future with. Women of color have been at the frontlines of nearly every movement in this country; they have moved this country forward but our society does not show them the same support. In the strategic plan we rolled out last year, we reshaped the focus of our work, intentionally and unapologetically centering women and girls of color as a point of inclusion. We looked at the pool of inequality and decided to drop our pebble over the efforts of women and girls of color. We believe that the ripple effect of helping this community will spread wide and lift everybody up in the process.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Maya Angelou, without a doubt. But, there are also the women I call “everyday feminists” that I have to privilege to work with who inspire me. Whether they are on my staff, on a panel with me, or a part of one of our grantees across the country, I look up to the strength of these women that fight for what they believe in.

Click to Read More:

Yai Vargas: Founder, The Latinista

Screenshot 2019-08-16 at 9.02.40 AM.png

My Native Admission Statement: My name is Yai Vargas, also known as “The LinkedIn Ninja”. I’m a community builder. I carry out my mission day-in and day-out by helping individuals understand how to brand themselves and articulate their values when it comes to their career and leadership development. With The Latinista, I host monthly events where Latinas and women of color invest in learning new skill-based and habit changing strategies for career mobility. I have chapters in NYC, Miami, Chicago and LA where I travel almost weekly to meet with community leaders, executives, organizations, and individuals to bridge the gap between diverse talent and organizations. I am also a national public speaker on women’s empowerment, LinkedIn branding, and female entrepreneurship.

Career advice to those in your industry?

The Diversity & Inclusion industry is always evolving. The most important piece of advice I received about the work I do is to develop relationships with other consultants so that we can collaborate and leverage our unique services to win larger contracts. Playing as an individual contractor and contributor won’t get me nearly as far, so there’s an absolute need for like-minded professionals to band together and work as a team while learning new parts of the business. 

My Motto?

Favorite proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. 

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

I am from the Dominican Republic, and it’s wonderful to go back home. I also love Thailand and Tanzania! 

Click to Read More:


My Native Admission Statement:  Anna Sullivan is the founder of The Creative Exchange, a content studio and social media agency based in Brooklyn. Anna founded The Creative Exchange in 2015 after working for several small business and Fortune 500 brands handing social strategy and creative concepts. The Creative Exchange is based in Brooklyn, where she leads her small team of creatives to create creative content and social media campaigns for consumer brands. The Creative Exchange has landed on Agency Spotter’s Top Social Media Agencies list the last 3 years. Anna’s drive, passion, and team has lead to the success of The Creative Exchange.

What are my aspirations?

Social media is so unpredictable, and as people say don’t put all your eggs in one basket. We have to be on top of what’s going on and it’s our job to make sure we are doing the best for our clients and community. We want to grow the company into offering experiential marketing as well as become more of a hub for our local creative community. Building something that gives back and is more sustainable than just one industry is our current aspiration as a business. 

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I love @thingtesting - this account informs me of the newest brands in an aesthetically pleasing way 

Click to Read More:


Screenshot 2019-08-05 at 11.03.18 AM.png

My Native Admission Statement: My passion is solving key business problems and developing the best possible outcome, building diverse teams to help solve the problem. Commercial, pragmatic, globally experienced, people leader with a passion, desire and proven ability to deliver business results. My experience has been built delivering successful transformation programmes across different industries primarily focused on Operating Model and people delivery. I work with and influence at all levels within an organisation. I’m passionate about helping and supporting people through their career / growth journey. I’m told I build great teams, it’s true I love working with different people, with different perspectives and diverse teams see different solutions to the same problem. i was appointed as Interim Chief People Officer at Just Eat in September 2018. Prior to that she was International People Director supporting Just Eat through its growth and multiple global acquisitions.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Don’t give up. If you have an aspiration or a goal, keep going for it. Don’t let anyone put you in a box or make you feel like you have to limit where you can get to - but make sure you enjoy the journey along the way - don’t run so fast at something that you forget to look around and acknowledge how far you’ve already come, take stock and remember to celebrate. But most importantly, don’t forget who you are and where you have come from - embrace your differences, make them be the reason you are you.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My favorite people are the real ones, I’m relatively down to earth (yes I am) and for me it’s not ‘the famous hero/heroine on our screens, but people I can connect with. I’ve met people in my everyday work that are role models in one way or another. I’m inspired by real life stories, overcoming challenges and those who are highly driven to achieve.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

I love going to beautiful beaches. It’s important to take time out from work and just exist, unwind and centre myself and they’re somewhere where I really feel at home, where I can reconnect with me.

Click to Read More:


Screenshot 2019-08-05 at 11.04.37 AM.png

My Native Admission Statement: My best skill is being able to observe popular cultures anywhere in the world and then being able to create content that is relevant in that country.  Most people think it comes from my mother dropping me in my head as a child ( true ) I am the co-founder of E! Entertainment Television, a company now valued at over $3.5 billion USD, and the creator of several successful companies in the United States and overseas. 

Career advice to those in your industry?

Learn how to self-evaluate your efforts in as much of an impartial way as possible. The problems most entrepreneurs have is they think everything they come up with is brilliant and they hang on too long to bad ideas.

What do you love most about Your City?

The weather

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Uncle Bernie’s Deli in Encino - Bagel and Lox

Click to Read More:

Akiko Izumitani: Director, Producer & Writer

Screenshot 2019-08-04 at 10.54.03 AM.png

My Native Admission Statement: Akiko Izumitani is a female director/producer/writer born and raised in Japan. She is also an active member of AWD (Alliance of Women Directors) in Los Angeles.Akiko first earned recognition through her feature-length documentary, "Silent Shame" (2010), in-depth exploration into Japan's war crimes in WWII. It won numerous awards worldwide, including Best Feature in the Beijing Movie Festival. It has been sold to China and Denmark.

My Biggest Success? To come to the U.S. by myself and learn English and got a greencard via work.

My Most Challenging Moment?  When my father died in Japan. It reminded me how far I live from my family.

Click to Read More:


Screenshot 2019-07-29 at 8.59.20 PM.png

My Native Admission Statement: I’ve never been satisfied with the “way things are supposed to be”. As a child, I watched my mother work full time, go to school at night, and raise me. I knew that I didn’t want a life of exhaustion. I think that’s when the seeds of SOS for Superwomen were first planted. I am the visionary behind the region’s only counseling and consulting practice specializing in serving Black and African-American communitiesn. I am also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program (2016).

How did you get into the industry?

When I was 24 years old my hair fell out. I was single with no responsibilities, yet the way I was working resulted in stress-induced alopecia. I spent my life watching my mother and grandmother work long and hard hours. My grandmother cleaned houses and my mother was a full-time teacher going to graduate school at night. I assumed being a Black women meant working hard and long hours so that’s what I did. It took me a few years to return to my childhood thought that I didn’t want to live a life of survival and exhaustion. As I learned new ways to work, be in supportive relationships, and ultimately thrive in life, I wanted to share these lessons with other women. I combined my personal experience with years of working with Black women facing similar struggles and created SOS for Superwomen.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Water soothes my soul so I’m happy anywhere with a beach and ocean. Or sitting on the beach in Chicago, where I was born and raised.

Click to Read More:

Lauren Steinberg: Founder, Queen V

Screenshot 2019-07-29 at 7.43.49 PM.png

My Native Admission Statement: My name is Lauren Steinberg and I am the founder of Queen V. Queen V is a female-run and female-focused feminine wellness company specifically focused right now on vaginal health. Queen V takes a really easy and fun approach to a topic that can be super confusing and embarrassing… trust me, I have been there. I have been around vaginas my entire life, not only because I am female but because my dad is a gynecologist.  Our products are made for women by women and take a really unique approach to vaginal health. We have created an easy to follow three-step process that helps women maintain, heal and enjoy their v. Maintaining your v is all about keeping your vagina clean and healthy by using products that are pH-balanced. Healing your v addresses infections and problems that can arise like yeast infections and UTI’s. Enjoying your v aims to help women love and embrace their vaginas.  Each of our products fit into one of these color-coded categories. Maintain products are blue, heal products are green and enjoy products are pink.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

Being a 25-year-old female in an industry typically dominated by men has been and still is a challenge. Whenever I pitch this brand, getting male retailers and male investors to understand the need for these products can be difficult. Talking about my vagina and vaginal infections was a bit embarrassing at first, but I now encourage women to be empowered to speak about their vaginas. At one point, I was even told that I was “just a girl.” Instead of letting this comment get to me, I have owned it. It’s true! I really am just a girl who became frustrated with vaginal products on the market and did something about it.

Click to Read More:


Screenshot 2019-07-14 at 5.45.33 PM.png

How did you get into the industry?

I started my career in marketing & advertising working with Fortune 500 brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Disney, Coca-Cola and Hilton. I fell in love with Drybar as a client first and then had the incredible opportunity to run marketing for 4 years which led to my partnering with Alli Webb & Michael Landau (Drybar Founders) to create Squeeze.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Be consistent with your daily habits. It's the small decisions on a daily basis that make up your life. Choose wisely and be intentional!

Goal of the Day?

Chase discomfort. I try to push myself forward even on the days when I'm tired or defeated. Progress and forward momentum are critical to success. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable to achieve big dreams.

Click to Read More:

Chizoba Anyaoha: Founder, TravSolo

Screenshot 2019-07-07 at 2.15.14 PM.png

My Native Admission Statement: Chizoba Anyaoha is the Founder of TravSolo, providing travelers the tools to create their itinerary on-the-go, meet people and to bring back home a travel story to share with loved ones.

Best Solo Travel Experience: Australia – where it started it all for me. Who every thought going 10,000 miles away was going to alter the course of my life forever in a big way? Certainly not me but I knew there was something out there waiting for me. People were so opened towards me, got blessed with free drinks every day, shared our life stories with one another and how far we have come, we challenged each other, met some crazy people I still call friends today, and unexpectedly fell in love with one of the most genuine person I know at that time.

Click to Read Full Q+A



My Native Admission Statement: I’m Adriana Gascoigne, the CEO and founder of Girls in Tech. We have 47 chapters with more than 62,000 members in 33 countries. I just wrote a new book, Tech Boss Lady: How to Start-Up, Disrupt, and Thrive as a Female Founder, about how I founded the largest organization for female entrepreneurs in the world. It includes true tales from more than 20 leading women in tech about how they got started in our industry and I’m very excited about it.

How did you get into the industry?

I zig-zagged into the tech and startup world. After graduating from UC Davis, I hung around LA for a year, working in marketing and advertising at JWT Hill & Knowlton. I landed in San Francisco for a quick year to work for Chase Communications before returning to Los Angeles for an opportunity in consumer brand marketing strategy. Later, I moved to Miami to work for a real estate development company for nearly three years. A later job was for an online video start-up in 2006 and I’ve stayed in tech ever since.

What should everyone try at least once?

Going to a developing country. It’s important for people to learn about other cultures, see how other people live and understand that other people may not live the same way they live. It’s also important for people to learn to have gratitude and appreciate what they have in life.

Click to Read More:

Mariel Hemingway: Advocate, Activist & Author


My Native Admission Statement: Though I started my career at 13 as an actress and have continued acting to this day, my true mission is as an advocate for mental physical and emotional wellness. Having come from an incredibly celebrated and prolific family that suffered from addictions, trauma and mental illness which lead to physical problems back in a time where no one knew the correlations of body- mind connections. My mission is to help others to realize that total health is a balance of everything you do from the water you drink to the thoughts you think. My mission, along with my life partner, Bobby Williams, is to create a curriculum that teaches people how to live in every aspect of what that means from the physical to the mental and spiritual.

How did you get into the industry?

I started my advocacy work after having written my second book Mariel Hemingway’s Healthy Living from the Inside Out. After writing that and a cookbook, I then made a documentary that I co-produced with Oprah on my family and their mental health problems( along with their spiral towards suicide), called Running from Crazy. The film was released at Sundance in 2013. I soon began speaking around North America, sharing not only my story but my realization that a focus on the balance of mental and physical health is one and the same.

My Most Challenging Moment?

Leaving my marriage of 24 years was the most difficult thing I probably ever did because I left before I was truly able to acknowledge that my own happiness mattered. It affected my daughters though they were 18 and 20 and made me feel guilty for a long time. But it allowed me to find myself and love myself. Sometimes my choices didn’t serve others’ desires and that was a challenge for me to accept . Now years later I am a stronger and happier person for it.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

I admire my life partner, Bobby Williams, for his integrity, incredible physical and mental strength, and for his unconditional love.

Click to Read More:

Darby Cox: Smoke Cartel Co-Founder & CEO


My Native Admission Statement: I think the most important thing I’ve learned – and continue to work on everyday- is fully embracing fear. Challenge is a part of life, and you’ve gotta learn to embrace and enjoy it if you want to build something great. Knowing that every day is an opportunity to improve on something I’m not yet satisfied with. I learned at this point the importance of forgiving myself for not having all the answers at the start. Everyone is growing and trying, myself included.

How did you get into the industry?:

My business partner [at the time, roommate], Sean Geng, came to me and said, “Darby, I think I’m going to start selling bongs.”. I told him he was insane. I didn’t like the idea of working for Smoke Cartel until I went to my first industry event, and I realized the impact this industry was going to have. Nearly six years later, here we are, and I could not be more of a proponent for cannabis legalization and further research into our products.

What do you love most about Your City?

Savannah, Georgia is a wonderful place to live. It’s up and coming, it’s changed tremendously in the past seven years I’ve been here. We have a great food scene, a growing beer culture, and tremendous southern hospitality.

Click to Read More:

Betsy Wentz: Studio B Owner


My Native Admission Statement: Betsy Wentz, owner of Studio B, likes to host clients to a collaborative and interactive experience. Her 3,000 square foot design studio stocks wallpapers, fabrics, rugs, and accessories. Betsy believes there’s a simple psychology behind allowing clients to have ownership of their design.

How did you get into the industry?

My mom was a designer. She ran a business from the carriage house at our home. Childhood served as on the job training, exposing me to all of the things I’ve come to love and appreciate about design.  Although I earned a Master’s degree in counseling psychology and practiced for several years, I missed a creative outlet! In 2001, I partnered with my mom. We had so much fun working together.  In 2011, an electrical fire destroyed our family home and my mom, diagnosed with early onset dementia,retired soon afterwards. I rented office space in the business district of our town, renamed the company Studio B and kept going from there.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Coffee by day/ tequila by night

Click to Read More:

Ericka Spradley: Confident Career Woman Chief PowHer Officer & Founder


My Native Admission Statement: I am the planner who didn’t have a plan; the woman who took a leap of faith after spending most of her career in her comfort zone and who quite honestly took 22 years to get a 4-year degree!! Although my bio and website will tell you that I’m the Chief PowHer Officer and Founder of Confident Career Woman – which is true, I believe it’s equally important to share aspects of my non-traditional career story so that other women feel compelled to define professional success on their own terms; not necessarily what society says success should be. In my role as Chief PowHer Officer, I coach women to do exactly that – leverage strategy to achieve career success based on their goals. In addition, I provide ongoing support and advice for my clients, I coach them to master the interview (at least 80% of my clients get hired) and I also partner with organizations who are committed to advancing women in the workplace by facilitating customized workshops, typically with their Employee Resource Groups.

What inspired you to start your own business?

As a senior in high school, I was advised to go to college, get a good job and save some money. The idea at that time was to follow the aforementioned blueprint and I’d be “alright.” What I discovered is that I wasn’t alright. I didn’t have as much money as I thought I should have so I knew something needed to change– starting with my mindset, my decisions, my actions and the information I was consuming. After researching entrepreneurship and reflecting on the success I achieved managing someone else’s business, I decided to bet on myself. I made a promise to myself which states: “The only way my business will fail is when I die or if my health fails.” With that being said, I refuse to quit on my dreams when I’ve committed most of my life to building someone else’s dreams. Being employed is a blessing that prepared me for where I am today; therefore, I’m grateful for every opportunity and each employer. I’m simply stating that abandoning my dreams is no longer an option for me – especially when I believe I am currently doing the work God created me to do.

Click to Read More:

Liz Accles: Community Food Advocates Executive Director


My Native Admission Statement: I have been the Executive Director of Community Food Advocates since 2013. My organization spearheads the coalition-based Lunch 4 Learning campaign. In 2017, we secured universal free school lunch that for all 1.1 million NYC public school students.We are now building on that success. For households with school aged children, there is no more effective anti-hunger program, that simultaneously addresses health and education equity, than school meals. I bring my 30 years of experience in advocacy, organizing, and coalition building, that is grounded in solid policy and budget analysis,to promote high impact public policies that strengthen  income and food support programs that are crucial to financially struggling New Yorkers.

Biggest Success?:

My biggest success has been spearheading the campaign in NYC for universal free school lunch for all 1.1 million public school students. This change reversed decades of public policy that had separated students by income in school cafeterias and imprinting a poverty stigma on the program that directly impacted student participation. Previously many students who were hungry and didn’t have other options just sat out from school lunch for fear of being shamed by their classmates. Right now an additional 31,000 students are eating school lunch each day – that is 5.4 million additional lunches being served per school year. We know that this is just the beginning. We are working to build on this foundation to make the school cafeteria a social hub that students seek out rather than avoid.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Two cups of coffee in the morning and one in the afternoon. Green tea on occasion.

Click to Read More:

Michael Beber: Exiger President & CEO


My Native Admission Statement: I would say I am most defined by my ability to think creatively with an open-mind around pretty much anything. Admittedly, I’m not good with rules, but I’ve used this to my advantage in business. I don’t perceive barriers; Instead, I look at everything in terms of how it can be bent or changed. At work, I am able to objectively understand and evaluate different actions, reactions and consequences, and this allows me to think freely to explore opportunities that others might have overlooked or written-off.

How did you get into the industry?:

My first foray into the governance, risk and compliance space was through forensic accounting. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, I was working on my Chartered Account (CA) designation and had already fulfilled all of my requirements, but needed to complete the remaining six months of work. That’s when I came across forensic and investigative accounting. I remember thinking how exciting that sounded. The job description included investigating fraud, bribery and corruption – some things Exiger employees do today – and that is how I landed my first job at Lindquist Holmes. The Canadian accounting, litigation and consulting firm became Kroll Lindquist Avey, was acquired by Marsh & McLennan, and eventually sold to Navigant.

Career advice to those in your industry?:

When people ask me whether I live to work or work to live, I tend to think they don’t understand what it means to truly love what you’re doing. To make the most of a career, I encourage everyone to find a business they fundamentally appreciate – one that plays to their areas of interest. In our industry, for example, I advise individuals to look beyond “compliance;” dig in and find out what the role really entails. Secondly, I suggest people find a growth-oriented organization, one where growth and change are central to the business’s culture. If you’re part of an organization where this is a focus, and you deliver high quality work, then you’re going to come across new opportunities that you never expected were possible.

Click to Read More:

Pamela Hawkins: Organic Love Beauty Founder


My Native Admission Statement: I am the Crafter and Creator of Organic Love Beauty. Organic Love Beauty is a skincare line that promotes healthy skin, wellness and relaxation using God given natural ingredients and encourages Love for Ourselves, Love for the Earth and Love for One Another. All of the Love I infuse into my business I infuse into my daily life. I aspire to be the most loving and patient mother to my children. I aspire to be the wife my husband doesn’t want to live without. I aspire to be a loving inspiration to everyone I meet. I aspire to have a business bigger than my wildest dreams.

Biggest Success?:

My biggest success in business so far is being one of ten finalists in the NY Start Up! Business Plan Competition 2018. Writing my business plan was a big hurdle for me. I had a lot of fear and doubt in myself and what I could accomplish. I also didn’t feel like a business woman, I was stuck thinking of myself as ‘just a mom’. And I had actually entered the competition the year before and withdrew because of those mental roadblocks. So, when I completed the plan and then had an opportunity to pitch my business to a panel of judges, it was surreal. And although I didn’t win I felt so accomplished getting over those obstacles that I put in my own way. That was when I transformed into a business woman.

My Goal of the Day: Wake up with prayer and gratitude, go to bed with prayer and gratitude. Everything in the middle I deal with as it comes.

Click to Read More:

Samantha Brown: Celebrity Stylist

My Native Admission Statement: I am a NY based wardrobe stylist, dressing people of all ages, body types and lifestyles. My goal is to help my clients cultivate a unique personal style that makes them feel confident and ready to achieve their personal and professional goals. Each styling project is as unique as the person I am dressing. I also work on everything from runway shows to trend presentations, ad campaigns to commercials. I’m in the business of getting people dressed, no matter the occasion.

How did you get into the industry?

My background was in editorial styling at Nylon Magazine and in design at Badgley Mischka. I was personally trained and recruited by Stacy London of TLC’s hit show, “What Not To Wear”.

I always aspired to be in fashion, whether it was on the design side or the styling side. There’s no real road map to a career like this, so I took some turns along the way (like launching and shutting down a clothing consignment business called “The Missing Piece”). Ultimately, dressing people and helping them feel confident in their clothes became my ultimate priority. I have the best job in the world. I also offer private training lessons to aspiring stylists to help support them in their freelance journeys.


A quote by Steve Martin always resonates with me: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

Click to Read More: