All posts filed under: 38/38

38 Women Over 38 Who Inspire Us

  We’ve got your “30 Under 30” right here. No, actually, we don’t. With all of the “30 under 30,” “20 under 20” lists, we thought we’d do something a little different and honor some women on the flip side. In this special two-week issue, we’re high-fiving women who happen to be above the age of 38 and are doing amazing things with their lives (note: we still love you too 20-somethings). To that end, we asked our 25+ TueNight contributors and colleagues to select 38 women they are inspired by and tell us why — which makes this list a little different from most of the “Top 100 lists” that are out there. It’s wholly subjective, based completely on the person who nominated the listee. This piece came to life through the combined efforts of more than 25 authors  — all of whom are different, just like the women that make up this list. Our nominees are famous and not famous. They are trailblazers, laughmakers, rulebreakers, mentors and heroes. Someone our contributors simply admire. …

Arts, Books & Culture: Women Who Inspire Us

[column size=”one-third”] ISABELLA ROSSELLINI By Robin Marshall “Now 61 (and still stunning), she has found a way to combine her love of science and theater in a series of spectacular short films.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] [/column] [column size=”one-third” last=”true”] JHUMPA LAHIRI By Savita Iyer “So many other writers lay the metaphors on thick and try to impress with dazzling language and complex turn of phrase, but Lahiri’s work is the writing equivalent of a perfect Picasso; a few strokes of genius on a blank sheet — and voila.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column]   [column size=”one-third”] DONNA TARTT By Bethanne Patrick “No wonder some novels are in gestation for a decade! Donna reminds me, as both a writer and a reader, that to take the long way home is not simply acceptable, but often advisable..”… Read about why she inspires us   [/column] [column size=”one-third”] MARJANE SATRAPI By Savita Iyer “Her drawings hit home on so many levels for me…  being the only girl with thick, dark body hair in the …

Food & Health: Women Who Inspire Us

[column size=”one-third”] Naomi Starkman By Kim O’Donnel “She dishes up a daily serving of news and commentary to help the rest of us make sense of how our food is grown, raised and politicized.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] Pati Jinich By Letisha Marrero “This Latina mother of three boys had the cojones to switch careers mid-life, pursue her passion doggedly, all the while making people pine for her culinary creations.”… Read about whys she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third” last=”true”] Alex Raij By Dori Fern “Her favorite part about being a well-seasoned chef is that she has become a better teacher and mentor to her staff: ‘The older you get, the more you realize you need help.’”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] Dr. Deborah Cohen By Suzanne Rust “Who stages a dance party before they’re scheduled for a double mastectomy? Dr. Deborah Cohan had the whole operating room laughing and shaking it to Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied” before her surgery.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third” last=”true”] Celeste Corcoran …

Music & TV: Women Who Inspire Us

[column size=”one-third”] JONATHA BROOKE By Tamar Anitai “Her songs have been a mantra and a siren, pulling me back into myself, reminding me that even in our darkest moments there’s someone out there who’s held their breath and weathered the storm, too..”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] SARAH SILVERMAN By Daniella Latham “There was brilliance in what Sarah was doing: She took on a well-defined audience segment and served proactive solutions to encourage a presidential vote..”… Read about why she inspires us [/column][column size=”one-third” last=”true”] ALI WENTWORTH By Margit Detweiler “Her videos were so unflinchingly honest, funny and confused. She’d captured that feeling we all have as we age, aka WHAT’S HAPPENING TO MY BODY? And, if I can fix it , should I? Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] SHARON JONES By Margit Detweiler “Flickering like a live wire across the stage, wearing a short, shimmery dress, she kicked off her heels and delivered more funk and grit than you can imagine..”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column …

Style & Design: Women Who Inspire Us

[column size=”one-third”] Jamyla Bennu By Patrice Grell Yursick “Jamyla inspires me to be my best self, to always exercise my right to create, to put my ideas out there in whatever medium I can and to find delight and joy in the everyday aspects of life.” Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] Isabel Marant By Susan Linney “I’m amazed at how she started so small and made it so big, purely as a result of her own uncompromising, off-the-cuff style; an ahead-of-its time look that we now see everywhere.” Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third” last=”true”] Tina Roth Einsenberg By Margit Detweiler “Tina has said she believes in “taking your personal projects seriously“ and “labors of love because labors of love always pay off.” Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] Deborah Berke By Rudabeh Pakravan “Deborah’s command of an elegant yet restrained design aesthetic has allowed her to create timeless and rich spaces that celebrate the inhabitants and context as much as the architecture.” Read about why …

Money & Business: Women Who Inspire Us

[column size=”one-third”] SALLIE KRAWCHEK By Nicole Hamilton “Instead of retreating in the face of adversity, Sallie found a brilliant next move — helping other women build a ladder up and learn new skills together.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] LISA SERVON By Amy S. Choi “New thinking about the urban poor and financial services is (duh) important and supremely relevant, and she’s doing it smartly and respectfully.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third” last=”true”] JANE BARRATT By Jessica Randazza “I admire her ability to methodically pivot in to her own venture, away from those big companies, and focus in on something she believes in. And having pursued a similar path (agency gal now at a fintech startup focused on investments, no less), it wasn’t until I heard Jane’s story that made me stop and think for the first time, “What am I doing to determine my own financial success?” Keep reading… Read why Jane inspires us   [/column]   [hr] SEE MORE IN 38 OVER 38: Arts, Books & Culture …

Science, Technology, Engineering, Math: Women Who Inspire Us

[column size=”one-third”] By Amy Vernon “Reshma [was inspired to found Girls Who Code] because she found fewer girls in technology education at every level, no matter their socioeconomic status.” Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] By Eleanor Hong “Motoko Hunt breaks the myth that Google has all the answers and that 
all your friends are on Facebook..”… Read about why she inspires us [/column][column size=”one-third” last=”true”] By  Jody Jones ” Just a few days after Anousheh Ansari [turned 40] became the first private female space explorer and the first Iranian in space.”   Read about why she inspires us [/column]     [column size=”one-third”] By Kara Silverman “She left earth! That’s inspiring enough for me.” Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] [hr] SEE MORE IN 38 OVER 38: Arts, Books & Culture Food & Health Media & News Music & TV Politics & Activism Style & Design Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Editor’s Note: 38 Women Over 38 Who Inspire Us   [/column]    

Women Who Inspire: Anousheh Ansari

                  NAME: Anousheh Ansari AGE: 47 OCCUPATION: Engineer; Cofounder, Chairwoman, and CEO of Prodea Systems WHO SHE IS: What a 40th birthday present! Just a few days after Anousheh Ansari rolled into that monumental age, she rocketed into the stratosphere and became the first private female space explorer and the first Iranian in space. And while that eight days in space may have earned her worldwide acclaim, it’s her work on terra firma that proves her a woman to watch. Born in Iran, Anousheh emigrated to the US with her family as a teen, speaking no English. Now she speaks Persian as well as English — and French — and has a functional knowledge of Russian (for space travel, of course!). Having worked in the entrepreneurial engineering space for almost two decades, she is a holder of three patents. Anousheh is the former CEO/Co-Founder of Telecom Technologies, a pioneer in the VoIP space. But what I love most? She founded the What If? Prize Competition in an effort to …

Women Who Inspire: Lela Lee

                  NAME: Lela Lee AGE: 39 OCCUPATION: Creator of Angry Little Girls, Actress WHO SHE IS:  What is it like growing up Asian American? If you want the honest truth, you can turn to Lela Lee’s “Kim.” Imagine an unabashed little girl version of “Cathy” who curses like a sailor. Lee’s flagship cartoon, “Angry Little Asian Girl,” has evolved into a creative comic strip enterprise. In the comic, Lee features a cast of diverse characters growing up American but dealing with issues of ethnicity, assimilation and acceptance. From comic books, animated shorts to selling merchandise, Lee has grown her Angry Little Girls collection into an incredible business off an unconventional and zany cartoon. Her comic series is syndicated by GoComics and in 2012, was nominated for the comic industry’s “Harvey Award.” Lee is also a television writer and actress. She’s appeared in recurring roles on TV shows such as Scrubs and cast in independent films (Justin Lin’s Better Luck Tomorrow).  She also has worked on several popular TV programs — Felicity, Friends and Curb Your Enthusiasm, …

Women Who Inspire: Dr. Deborah Cohen

NAME: Dr. Deborah Cohen AGE: 44 OCCUPATION: OB/GYN in San Francisco, California WHO SHE IS: Who stages a dance party before they’re scheduled for a double mastectomy? Dr. Deborah Cohan had the whole operating room laughing and shaking it to Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied” before her surgery. This mom of two is a Buddhist and an OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist) in San Francisco, California. She has always tried to incorporate the teaching principles of movement to her team of obstetricians and gynecologists to help cultivate their physical listening skills, so her pre-op dance party makes a lot of sense.  WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: Deborah’s positive energy was off the charts, and she proved that attitude is everything. If she was able to approach a double mastectomy with such bravado, how dare I be afraid of life’s lesser evils?! When I find myself grumbling about something stupid, I think of her and do a little dance.

Women Who Inspire: Melissa Harris-Perry

                  NAME: Melissa Harris-Perry AGE: 44 OCCUPATION: Host of the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC WHO SHE IS: Sure she had her mea culpa recently, but it doesn’t change the fact that Melissa Harris-Perry is one of the most well-informed news anchors on television (or, as The Atlantic put it, “the smartest nerd in the room”). She approaches news with intelligence, compassion, and humor, and her unique spin on politics, race, women’s issues and anything else she has to say, always keeps me riveted. She is also the mother of two girls (on Valentine’s day she gave birth to daughter number two). WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: Melissa is one of the smartest, most knowledgable and personable people on television; she never ceases to amaze me. I love hearing her unique spin on politics, race, women’s issues and anything else she has to say. Luckily for me, she’s active on social media, so I can follow her on Twitter and hope that some of her brilliance will rub off on me!  

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: Donna Tartt

                  NAME: Donna Tartt AGE: 50 OCCUPATION: Author/Novelist WHO SHE IS: With just three novels published during her nearly three-decade career, Donna Tartt might be seen as an avatar for Slow Writing. Fortunately, each of those books has been worth the long wait. The Secret History (1992) was a huge bestseller; The Little Friend (2002) won two awards (the WH Smith Literary Award and the 2003 Orange Prize for Fiction), and The Goldfinch (2013) has garnered immense praise both critical and collegial (including a thumbs up from Stephen King!). Donna began writing at the University of Mississippi, where her talent came to the fore and she transferred to Bennington College in Vermont, studying alongside other literary lights like Jonathan Lethem and Brett Easton Ellis (with whom she was briefly romantically involved). She is retiring but not reclusive, and has told the New York Times that she “keeps distractions at a minimum,” using the Internet usually “to find a restaurant address.” It is, without a doubt, this kind of focus that makes Tartt’s brilliant fiction so …

Women Who Inspire: Reshma Saujani

                  NAME: Reshma Saujani AGE: Almost 38 OCCUPATION: Founder, Girls Who Code WHO SHE IS: Saujani is the daughter of Indian immigrants who were expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin. A lawyer by education and training, she worked for various Wall Street firms and hedge funds before launching a political career. She became the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress in 2010 (losing the primary to incumbent Carolyn Mahoney). It was during this race that Saujani was first inspired to found the nonprofit Girls Who Code, which launched in 2012. GWC teaches young women the technical skills they need to survive in our new tech-centric society; skills that include web design, algorithms, and robotics. She was inspired to do this, she told TechRepublic, because she found fewer girls in technology education at every level, no matter their socioeconomic status. Saujani became New York City’s deputy public advocate and ran last year to become the city’s public advocate, losing the race to Letitia James. She has continued …

Women Who Inspire: Jamyla Bennu

                  NAME: Jamyla Bennu AGE: 38 OCCUPATION: Mixtress, creator and CEO of Oyin Handmade WHO SHE IS: Jamyla Bennu is like Wonder Woman, if Wonder Woman also ran a successful personal care business and was an incredible wife and mother in addition to being a superhero. She’s the kind of woman that the media insists doesn’t exist – the woman who truly has it all. Jamyla and her husband Pierre are the creators of Oyin Handmade, a beloved line of hair and body care products for men and women, primarily people blessed with naturally curly and highly-textured hair. Oyin is the Yoruba word for honey, and legions of natural-haired women have been sweet on their products for the past decade. Now Target has gotten hip to the honey and Oyin products will be found on store shelves at everyone’s favorite retail store, nationwide. In addition to running Oyin, Jamyla is a mother of two adorable boys. Ebony Magazine recently named the Bennu’s one of the Coolest Black …

Women Who Inspire: Lisa Servon

NAME: Lisa Servon AGE: 49 OCCUPATION: Professor, Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at the New School for Public Engagement WHO SHE IS: I saw Lisa Servon speak at the PopTech Sparks of Brilliance conference in Camden, Maine in 2013, and in a conference packed with amazing speakers, she blew me away. She had flow in on a redeye from Oakland, where she was working at a check-cashing outlet. An expert in urban policy and economic and community development, her current research explores the absence of financial services to the poor and the larger social and economic implications of that absence. But she doesn’t do it from an ivory tower — in order to learn why low-income people choose to use check-cashing outlets, a seemingly exploitative and abusive industry, she worked registers in the Bronx and East Bay, in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the country. New thinking about the urban poor and financial services is (duh) important and supremely relevant, and she’s doing it smartly and respectfully. Go, girl. WHY SHE …

Women Who Inspire: Amanda de Cadenet

NAME: Amanda de Cadenet AGE:  41 OCCUPATION: Photographer, Activist, Producer and creator of The Conversation WHO SHE IS: A former wild child of the 1990s famous for her legendary dalliances and rocker marriages (then, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor; now, current husband Nick Valensi of The Strokes) de Cadenet wasn’t ready to just be a rock star wife. Sure, she acted  and produced and became a well-sought-after photographer who has shot for Vogue and Vanity Fair. But she didn’t stop there. De Cadenet has now created The Conversation, a website and video series that gathers women together around the tough questions we regularly face, creating an open dialogue that leaves you feeling surrounded by knowledge and understanding. From Hollywood power players to personal video dialogues, de Cadenet isn’t afraid of any conversation, even those that reflect on her own life. Slowly but surely, she’s changing all of ours, one conversation at a time. WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: For years, I had a photo of Amanda de Cadenet and Courtney Love on my wall as a model of fearless …

Women Who Inspire: Deborah Berke

NAME: Deborah Berke AGE: 59 OCCUPATION: Architect, Deborah Berke Partners WHO SHE IS: Her designs are often described as “understated.” She herself is, supposedly, “reserved” and “humble.” You might think that means her body of work doesn’t stand out as exceptional, but 30 years of thoughtful and sophisticated buildings will tell you otherwise. From homes and hotels to museums and university buildings, Deborah’s command of an elegant yet restrained design aesthetic has allowed her to create timeless and rich spaces that celebrate the inhabitants and context as much as the architecture. She also believes that her practice, Deborah Berke Partners, only plays a partial role in creating vibrant places: As an adjunct professor at Yale School of Architecture and a Founding Trustee of the Design Trust for Public Space in New York City, she has a direct effect on both future generations of designers and entire communities. WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: During the course of my career I have often tried to identify women architects who, like me, have their own practice, teach and raise …

Women Who Inspire: Cyndi Lauper

                  NAME: Cyndi Lauper AGE: 60 OCCUPATION: Singer, Songwriter, Actor, LGBT Rights Activist WHO SHE IS: Cyndi Lauper burst onto the scene in the early 1980s, sporting a shock of long, bright-red hair and a mismatched mess of tulle skirts, plaid pants, lacey tanks and tons of attitude. She was bold, brash, and unafraid to speak in her heavy Queens accent. She also (somewhat inexplicably) loved to align herself with wrestling stars. Her debut album, She’s So Unusual, was a huge hit, spawning the classic 80s anthem “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (which, as we all know, is a tune that has stood the test of time) as well as “Time After Time,” “She Bop,” and more. She released “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” for the film in 1985, (a total aside, but a song I listened to and repeatedly rewound on my Walkman for probably a month straight), and her second album, True Colors, while not as commercially successful as her first, still managed to sell …

Women Who Inspire: Ali Wentworth

                  NAME: Ali Wentworth AGE: 49 OCCUPATION: Comedian, Actress, Author, Producer WHO SHE IS: Alexandra “Ali” Wentworth is a study in comic incongruities: the WASP-y blonde daughter of Mabel “Muffie” Cabot, Nancy Regan’s press secretary… and a salty-mouthed comedian known for her Cher and Amy Buttafuco impersonations on In Living Color. The wife of ABC’s respected anchor George Stephanopoulos… and someone who likes to surprise him by jumping on tables on Good Morning America. A mother of two and an actress who’s appeared in films like Jerry Maguire, Office Space and It’s Complicated and a woman who publicly takes us on her plastic-surgery quest for a less puffy pair of eyes. Some first fell for Ali as “schmoopy” on Seinfeld. My introduction to Ali, however, was through her two-season stint as the creator and star of Head Case, a gone-too-soon Starz original. Ali played the worst, most self-centered shrink-to-the-stars you’d ever meet — quirky, cringeworthy and hilarious. You can catch up on YouTube — highly recommend it. …

Women Who Inspire: Jane Barratt

NAME: Jane Barratt AGE:  44 OCCUPATION: Founder, Vested Interest WHO SHE IS: Jane Barratt is a seasoned advertising and digital marketing professional with more than 20 years of incredible experience. Working for some of the biggest brands in the globe, Jane has brought to life incredible and inspiring programs while leading large agencies and practices for Havas, Sapient, Young & Rubicam, and most recently, mcgarrybowen. While there, she served as the International Chief Operations Officer for a variety of cultures, categories and countries. Throughout her varied experiences, Jane recognized one  common thread among each of the companies she worked for — their strong commitment to customers and shareholders. Jane was empowered by that realization, and saw a tremendous opportunity for loyal customers of these big brands to go a step further and buy shares in the companies they bought from most frequently. Her new company, Vested Interest, will help do exactly that when it launches this spring. Jane’s mission is extraordinary — to build a tool to inspire and educate customers with no financial experience on how to …

Women Who Inspire: Dr. Mae Jemison

            NAME: Mae Jemison AGE: 57 OCCUPATION: Physician, former NASA Astronaut, and the Principal for the 100 Year Starship Foundation WHO SHE IS: Well, for starters, Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to travel into space. So she’s a literally and figuratively a barrier breaker. Born in Decatur, Alabama, the seriously studious Jemison moved to Chicago as a young child, was an honor student in high school and was accepted to Stanford University at the tender age of 16. She gradated with a B.S. in chemical engineering and a B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies. Although first her application to NASA was turned down, she was accepted in 1987 after submitting her second. Before her history-making shuttle launch in 1992, Jemison worked at the Kennedy Space station in Florida, doing tasks such as verifying software and help launch vehicle.­ Jemison resigned from NASA in 1993, and went on to pursue numerous ventures. She was a professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College from 1995 to 200o, and is currently a Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. WHY SHE INSPIRES …

Politics & Activism: Women Who Inspire Us

[column size=”one-third”] KATE KENDALL By Deanna Brown “As a gay woman, I’ve been moved, inspired and empowered by how Kate has created change and made the world a better place.”… Read about why she inspires us   [/column] [column size=”one-third”] WENDY DAVIS By Lauren Young “Bottom line: I admire a woman who stands up for the rights of all women.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column][column size=”one-third” last=”true”] ROBIN WOLANER By Katharine English “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.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column]   [column size=”one-third”] CHRISTY TURLINGTON BURNS By Cheryl Swirnow “She’s a wonderful example of how we, as women, can help each other…  whether you’ve been on the cover of a million magazines or not.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”two-third” last=”true”] [/column]     [hr] SEE MORE …

Media & News: Women Who Inspire Us

[column size=”one-third”] Amanda de Cadenet By Kristin Booker “I’m constantly inspired by de Cadenet’s candor and ability to inspire women to help each other. She’s unafraid to show her own struggles with everything from former addictions to body image.”… Read about why she inspires us   [/column] [column size=”one-third”] Hoda Kotb By Heather M. Graham “She kept going she says, because ‘I do think if you are tenacious, somebody will hire you.’”… Read about why she inspires us   [/column] [column size=”one-third” last=”true”] Cindi Leive By Robin Marshall “She tweets from the runways of Milan…and she cooks up Super Bowl chili for 40 guests, hosts raucous sleepovers for rascally eight-year old boys.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] Elizabeth Vargas By Susan Linney “As a women in recovery myself (and as one who writes openly about my illness), Vargas is a not only a role model, but a constant reminder of the importance of truth.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] Christine Haubeggar By Mercedes Cardona “Long before publishers knew that putting J. Lo …

Women Who Inspire: Isabel Marant

                  NAME: Isabel Marant AGE: 47 OCCUPATION: Designer, founder of Isabel Marant WHO SHE IS: A native Parisian, Isabel Marant began her career as an accessory designer in 1989, before founding her own eponymous ready-to-wear fashion line in 1994. The label’s boho-chic/street-style sensibility quickly made it an indie darling, filled with cozy sweaters, slouchy knits, fitted jackets, funky shoes, loose-fitting trousers and luscious scarves. Now a Fashion Week staple, Isabel’s wares have been featured in fashion magazines around the world, and in 2013, she collaborated on a line with H&M, a partnership that had previously been reserved for uber-famous, household names like Karl Lagerfield and Versace. Isabel has three boutiques in Paris, a whopping nine in Asia and one in New York (not to mention wholesale locations and stock in online stores throughout Europe and the U.S.). WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: When I was a little girl, I wanted so badly to be a little Parisian princess. I spoke faux French to my most sophisticated stuffed animals while I played dress-up. But …

Women Who Inspire: Pati Jinich

                  NAME: Pati Jinich AGE: 41 OCCUPATION: Chef, Author and TV Host of Pati’s Mexican Table on PBS WHO SHE IS: You don’t expect a celebrity chef to invite you to her home and serve you “piggy cookies.” (She did. For me!) You don’t expect a celebrity chef to have a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown (she does). In fact, just eight years ago, Pati left her full-time job as a political analyst to pursue her love of Mexican food and the culture of her home country. On her hit show, Pati’s Mexican Table on PBS, you’ll often get a mini-history lesson on a region of Mexico, or the geneses of certain ingredients. She recently wrote an article for The Washington Post about the origins of Tex-Mex food, to which my tejana friend from Texas proclaimed should be taught in every school in America. Pati’s cookbook of the same name just rose to #1 on Amazon for Mexican cookbooks. (Take that, Rick Bayless!) WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: Pati is one of …

Women Who Inspire: Sharon Jones

                  NAME: Sharon Jones AGE: 57 OCCUPATION: Soul singer extraordinaire WHO SHE IS: ON FIRE! What else can you say about this 57-year-old rock and old-soul dynamo? The last time I saw Jones perform was at the Beacon Theater with Daryl Hall and Allen Stone, and she blew both of the notable crooners off the stage with her powerhouse pipes. Flickering like a live wire across the stage, wearing a short, shimmery dress, she kicked off her heels and delivered more funk and grit than you can imagine. The Georgia native was schooled in gospel and has been gigging since the 1970s, somewhat under the radar. She worked as a correction officer at Rikers Island and a security guard until she reemerged as a backup singer in the mid to late ’90s. In 2001, she aligned with the Dap Kings as part of the so-called “vintage soul revival” which led to several critically acclaimed albums on Daptone Records including my favorite: 100 Days, 100 Nights. Just don’t call …

Women Who Inspire: Sallie Krawcheck

NAME: Sallie Krawcheck AGE: 49 OCCUPATION: Owner of 85 Broads WHO SHE IS: She might be one of the most well-known women on Wall Street; definitely one of the most senior. I’ve followed her career over the years, from CFO of Citi to CEO of Citi Wealth Management to President of Bank of America Wealth Management. Once the CEO of Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney, Sallie’s known for her honesty and focus on regulatory reform. Most recently, after her last bank position was eliminated, she bought 85 Broads, a professional women’s networking group, from founder Janet Hansen. WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: There aren’t many barriers Sallie hasn’t kicked through — and she seems to have done it with admirable integrity. If you want something, you don’t think about the barriers, you just go for it: That’s Sallie’s way. Like a Wall Street Indiana Jones, batting off snakes and navigating moving platforms and archenemies, perhaps. And when things didn’t go as planned? Instead of retreating in the face of adversity, Sallie found a brilliant next move — helping other …

Tina Roth Eisenberg

Women Who Inspire: Tina Roth Eisenberg

NAME: Tina Roth Eisenberg AGE: 40-something OCCUPATION: Graphic designer, Fake Tattoo Artist, App-maker, Creative Host WHO SHE IS: Let’s get this out of the way: Here at TueNight, you could say we’re Tina Roth Eisenberg — aka Swiss Miss — groupies. Designer Kat and I salivate over Tattlys (the line of fake tattoos Tina started) and sign up for as many of her Creative Mornings as we can — eat croissants and listen to George Lois or Debbie Millman or Christoph Niemann talk? Yes and yes and my heart is going to explode in a million Pantone-colored fractals. Calming down. Tattlys, and the now worldwide phenomenon that is Creative Mornings, are just two of the many things this Swiss-born mother of two has launched. Originally from Speicher (AR), Switzerland, Tina came to the U.S. to do graphic design work and started her own shop, but now focuses primarily on her own products and apps. (She started the time-management app TeuxDeux, for example, and runs a co-working space called StudioMates.) I know, I know — where …

Women Who Inspire: Kate Kendell

                  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 …