All posts tagged: Politics & Activism

Women Who Inspire: Robin Wolaner

NAME: Robin Wolaner AGE: 59 OCCUPATION: CEO, Vittana, a nonprofit that pioneers loans for students in developing countries WHO SHE IS:  She founded the wildly popular and prescient Parenting magazine at the tender age of 31, persuading Time, Inc. to become her partner and marking the publishing giant’s first time ever investing in a joint venture start-up. Just four years later, Time, Inc. bought Wolaner’s share, making her Vice President of its Publishing Ventures division, and a millionaire. It was an unusual story, and remains one of the most popular case studies in the Harvard Business School’s first-year curriculum. Since then, Wolaner has been the COO of CNET, founded baby boomer social networking site TeeBeeDee, and been a bestselling author. WHY SHE INSPIRES  ME: At a time when women were rarely in the C-suites of tech companies, let alone sitting on high-tech boards, Robin paved the way for the rest of us to believe it was possible. I’m pretty certain that Sheryl Sandberg wouldn’t be leaning into Facebook if Robin hadn’t first leaned into CNET. After the Internet bubble imploded on itself, undaunted, …

Women Who Inspire: Kate Kendell

(Photo Courtesy of NCLRights.org) NAME: Kate Kendell AGE: 53 OCCUPATION: Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights WHO SHE IS: Kate grew up in the notoriously gay-unfriendly state of Utah, receiving her J.D. from the University of Utah. A onetime attorney for the ACLU’s Utah chapter, Kate is now widely known as a spokesperson for LGBT rights, appearing on and in such media outlets as CNN, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She lives in San Francisco with her wife and their family, and is said to be very passionate about grass-roots community advocacy. WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: As a gay woman, I’ve been moved, inspired and empowered by how Kate has created change and made the world a better place. She’s been working towards our goal of equality for all every day for the past decade (and I’m sure her work is not done). This agent of change possesses a profound sense of duty and pride – I’m a fan and one who would stand beside her or behind her …

Women Who Inspire: Christy Turlington Burns

(Photo Courtesy of everymothercounts.org) NAME: Christy Turlington Burns AGE: 45 OCCUPATION: Model/Philanthropist; Founder of Everymothercounts.org WHO SHE IS: My 10-year-old-self would have died to have been in Christy’s designer shoes, strutting her stuff in George Michael’s video for Freedom! ‘90. That was more than 20 years ago, and Christy has continued to enjoy an incredibly vast modeling, every since. Now, she has added philanthropist to her list of achievements with the start of Every Mother Counts, an organization aimed at ending preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world.  She is focused not just on raising money for the cause, but also on raising awareness, in an effort to avoid maternal mortality due to unnecessary delays and denial of medical treatment in many countries. WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: Having just become a mom in February 2013, Christy’s charity certainly hits home for me now more than ever. And as co-founder and COO of Sherpaa, where our goal is to make health care accessible and affordable for everyone, Christy’s devotion to doing so herself via her own organization is particularly admirable …

Women Who Inspire: Wendy Davis

(Photo Credit: Facebook) NAME: Wendy Davis AGE: 50 OCCUPATION: Texas state senator and Texas gubernatorial candidate WHO SHE IS: To be honest with you, I had never heard of Wendy Davis before she staged a courageous coup in the Texas State Senate — a filibuster that lasted 11 hours in June of 2013. Davis successfully blocked a bill banning abortions in the state after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In addition, the legislation featured some pretty tough requirements that would ultimately shut down many women’s health clinics. As Davis’ filibuster dragged on, social media went bonkers. And it was on Twitter where I first heard about Davis and started following her story. Now she is running for governor of Texas, a path partially forged by another Lone Star heroine of mine, Ann Richards, who died in 2006. (Richards’ daughter Cecile, incidentally, is the president of Planned Parenthood.) WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: Some question the campaign narrative Davis relies heavily on as a former single mom, who once lived in a trailer park, and graduated from Harvard Law School. Honestly, her …