Women’s History Month: Celebrating the Young Revolution

This a guest post by Vartika Gupta, content specialist at Bizongo

It’s in the click of my heels, the bend of my hair,

The palm of my hand, the need for my care,

‘Cause I am a woman, phenomenally.

- Maya Angelou

According to Forbes, the concept of power can be nebulous, with women even more so. As of January 2015, 10 women served as heads of state and 14 as heads of government. Women currently hold 23 (4.6%) of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies. Of a total 1,826 global billionaires, 197 are women — 11% of the total. Only 9% of executive officers in Silicon Valley are women.

WomenA paradigm shift in the necessity of perceiving women as equals has engulfed global masses in the last decade. A female representation for the company grabs headlines surpassing a hoard of other pressing issues. Mistake me not, it is time women become the recipient and get due credit after centuries of toeing the line and disdainfully erased. They go on to become Forbes most influential women, garnering feature spreads in the Time magazine entailing a round of interviews scrutinizing their every decision, however big or small.

With the progressive mentality in this day and age, the statistics surely seem unfortunate. From Gwynne Shotwell, COO of SpaceX, to Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo and our very own Chanda Kochhar, CEO of ICICI, this list is endless. The more I research on these iconic women, even though it is inspiring to see them excelling exceptionally in their respective fields, I wonder.

I wonder about the younger women and where do they fit in all of this? Mark Zuckerberg was heading a revolutionary company in his early 20s. Elon Musk was a billionaire by his late 30s. As a woman, even though I look up to these men for inspiration, I know my struggles are a lot more different than what they have had to face.

As the age old adage goes, only a woman can understand another.

This Women’s History Month, I would like to celebrate these Young Revolutionaries on a journey to creating history. They are role models for millions of little girls, who are a witness to history being created.

Malala Yousafzai, 18 : No matter how often she is mentioned, but being a strong voice against Taliban and its atrocities, she is an entity of hope. For all the girls, who wish to be educated, Malala is like a phoenix for them, rising from the dead and spreading her light to the remotest parts of her country. Youngest ever recipient of Nobel Peace Prize, she has been successfully advocating for female education globally.

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Taylor Swift, 26 : Being a popular pop star is beyond performing in concerts. Taylor would agree with me. This country folk singer turned pop superstar with the launch of her album – 1989, the only platinum album selling 3.6 million copies, in 2014. This singer-songwriter, worth $80 million, forced the technology giant, Apple to pay artists during their service’s free trial period. Baby I’m a Nightmare, Just like a Daydream….

Clara Sieg, 29 : Heavily dominated by men, career as a venture capitalist is definitely disruptive. Sieg was in her mid-20s and trying her hand at banking when her firm sat down with AOL billionaire Steve Case and his partners at Revolution to help them set up their first investment fund in 2010. As she got to know Case and his fellow venture capitalists, she realized she wanted to be on their side of the table. And her dream was fulfilled in 2012 when West Coast partner David Golden approached her for co founding Revolution’s first venture fund. Sieg jumped at the chance and since led the fundraising for the firm’s first two institutional funds, a combined $650 million investment in startups.

Elizabeth Holmes, 31 : The youngest self made female billionaire, founder of Theranos, an American privately-held health-technology and medical-laboratory-services company based in Palo Alto, California. Its founders raised over $800 million from investors, valuing the company at $9 billion. With groundbreaking technology, Elizabeth is on a path to revolutionize how medical facilities operate in the US of A.

Emma Watson, 25 : Staying true to her alter ego – Hermione Granger, adults of today have grown with Emma Watson. She is probably one of the HP actors I wish to become even after the end of series. Despite the fame, she went ahead and finished college, got appointed as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and launched the HeForShe movement. Watson’s call for men and boys to join the feminist movement for gender equality resonated around the world. Her speech launching the UN HeForShe movement, which touched on issues of media sexualisation, female     education and male suicide, was watched by millions.

Corina Antal, 29 : A research associate with Salk Institute of Biological Sciences, Corina made waves with a paper published earlier this year. Her research uncovered a group of proteins which were initially thought to promote cancer were in reality suppressing it. This is an enormous push for research towards new cancer treatments.

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Maria Sharapova, 28 : In sports, this is one name recognised for her grace and confidence. The Russian-born world No. 4 holds five Grand Slam titles from 2004 to 2014, along with Williams sisters being the other two. Her modeling and advertising includes Porsche and Cole Haan, while she also helps charities and the United Nations Development Program as a Goodwill Ambassador.

Iseult Conlin, 28 : Recognised as 30 under 30 in the finance sector, Iseult holds the position of Vice President at BlackRock, a global investment management corporation. She has been pioneering electronic trading methods, such as open trading, in markets where transactions still happen over phone through brokers. Dealing with industries in like aerospace and defense, here’s a woman on a mission to streamline the finance industry.

Annie Lawless, 28 : In 1950s, the media symbolized women by dressing them in aprons sitting in a kitchen, holding an orange juice. Fast forward to 2016, Annie would easily tweak these advertisements with a smartly dressed woman standing in a room inspiring her 200 odd employees, holding a bottle of orange juice. Co founder of Suja Juice, Lawless stands atop a brand valued at $300 million – and she did it by focusing on the very foundation of the food pyramid. This organic juice company she cofounded in 2012, has surged in popularity (and sales, which will hit $70 million this year) thanks to its rejection of added sugar or genetically modified fruits.

You : And last but not the least, the woman who reflects in your mirror. Roll up your sleeves, tie back your hair and trust yourself enough to beat all odds, no matter how tough, to achieve the one dream which forbids you from sleeping. Complete that marathon, start work on your research, rekindle your love for dancing, write because you love to, travel because you want to, because you are so much more beyond your own imagination.

The world is your oyster awaiting its pearl to shine.

(Image Source)

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