Meet the Women of Fortune’s 40 Under 40
Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list is here, and it’s the most gender diverse yet.
While we’re still not at parity—the list has 16 women, which makes it nearly 40% female—this year’s ranking is a step up from last year’s, which had 14 women.
The women on our list are as diverse as women in the workforce in general: There are tech product whizzes, finance gurus, and media moguls-in-the-making. Some work for the biggest brands in business—Apple, Facebook, Goldman Sachs—while others are starting their own firms.
Without further ado, meet the sweet 16:
Head of North America, Uber
40 Under 40 Rank: 9
After stints in consulting and CPG—she used to oversee Hidden Valley vinaigrettes at Clorox—Holt joined Uber in 2011 when she was hired to set up the startup’s Washington, D.C., operations. Five years later, the 33-year-old is running the company’s North American business. Her advice for her 20-year-old self: “Be very suspicious when someone tells you a problem is impossible to solve, or that a current situation can’t be changed.
Bozoma St. John
Head of Consumer Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, Apple
40 Under 40 Rank: 14
You might have first heard the buzz about Boz at Apple’s annual developers conference this past June, when she persuaded the entire audience to rap to the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” The 39-year-old joined Apple in 2014 when the tech giant acquired Dr. Dre’s Beats, for which she led marketing. She’s since been tasked with making Apple Music into the next big thing and has so far inked marketing deals with Mary J. Blige, Taylor Swift, and other big names.
Posnett is one of tech’s most prominent investment bankers, having led crafts retailer Etsy’s (ETSY) IPO and Salesforce’s (CRM) $2.8 billion acquisition of Demandware for employer Goldman Sachs (GS). And if you don’t already find the 39-year-old’s success incredibly impressive, consider the fact that finance is her second career: She once aspired to be an actress (her biggest role was an extra in Phone Booth, a 2003 Colin Firth thriller).
Hooi Ling Tan
40 Under 40 Rank: 17
Tan has built Grab, a Singapore-based ride-sharing business currently valued at more than $1.6 billion and operating in over 30 cities. A self-professed introvert, the 32-year-old says she has had to work hard at being more vocal in her leadership style. Whatever she and co-founder Anthony Tan are doing seems to be working: Grab has raised $350 million in the past year alone, and plans to triple its engineering talent by next year.
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Chief Investment Officer, Ides Capital
40 Under 40 Rank: 19
Not only is McKeever the only woman running an activist hedge fund dedicated to shaking up U.S. companies, she’s already winning her first activist fight: This past June, Wi-Fi hotspot provider Boingo Wireless reached a settlement with her firm Ides Capital and agreed to add three new directors to its board. In addition to being a “hardcore gamer,” the 38-year-old is also huge fan of rollercoasters—so much so that she is a card-carrying member of American Coaster Enthusiasts.
For more on McKeever, read Meet the Only Female Activist Hedge Fund Manager Shaking up U.S. Companies.
Simo heads Facebook Live—one of Facebook’s most important features to date, according to her boss Mark Zuckerberg. The French-raised former eBay strategist doesn’t just stand out because of her name (which is a perfume), but her quirky habits, which are somewhat legendary at Facebook offices. Every day at 4 p.m., the 30-year-old heats up a bowl of Nutella and Special K and eats the concoction with a spoon.
Co-founder, President & CEO, Caribou Biosciences
40 Under 40 Rank: 23
Haurwitz’s biotech startup Caribou—which she founded with famed biochemistry researcher Jennifer Doudna—is one of the leading companies pursuing commercial applications of the genome-editing tool CRISPR. The 31-year-old scientist-turned-entrepreneur takes being data-driven to another level, having developed a habit of counting (and memorizing) the exact number of steps in staircases.
President, STX Entertainment
40 Under 40 Rank: 25
As president of STX, Watts is charged with to building out the Hollywood studio’s film, TV, digital, and music divisions. And while she may be young (she just turned 31), she has an incredible resume, having worked on productions with Beyoncé, Elton John, and Madonna. She admires Virgin Group founder Richard Branson for being a visionary, while still protecting the people around him and “weaponizing them to do their best.”
As head of Caterpillar’s 120-person analytics team, Vawter has been tasked with transforming the 91-year-old construction equipment-maker into a “digital first” enterprise. Some of her most exciting projects include using sensor data to predict when equipment will wear out and drone data to optimize large job sites. When she’s not working, the 35-year-old is honing her cooking skills and hunting for the perfect steak.
Founder and CEO, Stitch Fix
40 Under 40 Rank: 29
Lake has grown online styling service Stitch Fix into a major force in the retail world. Although the company doesn’t report financials, outside revenue estimates for 2015 hover around $250 million. In the past year, Stitch Fix hired over 2,000 employees, and Lake prides herself on their diversity: her management team is more than half women, and her total workforce that is over 70% percent female. Before launching Stitch Fix, the 34-year-old spent years lifeguarding—her longest career to-date.
Co-founder and CEO, Classpass
40 Under 40 Rank: 32
In three years, Kadakia grew her fitness booking app ClassPass to 39 cities and raised $84 million in funding. As she focuses on profitability, she’s had to make tough calls: in the last 15 months, the company introduced a new revenue model and raised member prices. When not running her business, Kadakia is dancing with her Bollywood troupe, Sa Dance Company. You may have seen her dance on the small screen: she’s appeared in a Verizon ad and on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Chef Gordon Ramsey.
Vice President of Product, Slack
40 Under 40 Rank: 34
During Underwood’s first year heading product strategy for corporate messaging startup Slack, the number of active users relying on the service tripled to more than 3 million. A software engineer by training, Underwood also gets the business side of things. In the four months between leaving her job at Twitter (where she was director of product) and starting her new one, the 36-year-old launched all-female investor group.
Co-founder and CEO, Clique Media Group
40 Under 40 Rank: 35
Since being co-founded by Power a decade ago, L.A.-based Clique Media Group (CMG) has quietly scaled up—and turned a profit—without the piles of VC funding common to new media startups. CMG operates multiple women-focused media brands, including WhoWhatWear, Byrdie, and MyDomaine. Power says her most difficult decision was to step into the CEO role in 2014. Being “very shy by nature,” she says she’s had to work really hard at projecting the confidence necessary for the executive office.
Founder, KonMari Method
40 Under 40 Rank: 36
With her organizational process, KonMari Method and her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo has tapped into a need as powerful as it is emotional: to live clutter-free. The 31-year-old practices what she preaches, and has a deep personal tie to her possessions, even speaking to them at times. She says things like: “Thank you for always being there” or “My work went well, thanks to you!”
Danielle Weisberg & Carly Zakin
Co-founders and CEOs, theSkimm
40 Under 40 Rank: 38
The Skimm has grown from a millennial women’s newsletter into a media powerhouse with 3.5 million subscribers. Zakin and Weisberg recently raised $8 million in funding and launched the company’s first product extension, a calendar app. Next up on their agenda is the launch of Skimm Studios, a new video venture. The friends, co-founders and former roommates have a lot in common, including an affinity for sports: Zakin says she still dreams of being an Olympic speed walker and Weisberg was once on her college equestrian team.