Women are notoriously terrible at tooting their own horns, particularly in a professional setting. We asked our leading ladies what they considered their greatest success without putting any restrictions on their answers. It can be building a fence or building a company: whatever they are most proud of.
Nadine Gabai Botero | Focus Fundraising
I have to say my greatest success to date has been my marriage! We just celebrated our 20th anniversary and I know for a fact that so much of what I have done professionally and personally is due to the support I’ve gotten from my husband.
Nicole Aguirre | Worn
Not settling for a 9-5 job in government I was bound to hate. I told people (naysayers) what they wanted to hear and then did whatever I wanted, which was to start a company doing the things I loved with the people I wanted to work with. I also consider it a great success to have founded a company that gives other creative people the opportunity to make their passions their career and work at a place they love, rather than a monotonous office cube. Small businesses are responsible for 80% of annual jobs created in the US, so we shouldn’t underestimate the impact of that.
Svetlana Legetic | BrightestYoungThings
Staying in business, and a fickle one, as long and completely independently as we have. We still only do the things we want to do (even if they are an insane effort), we still are excited to go to work every day. Running several citywide festivals is probably pretty high up there, in terms of just listing accomplishments.
Caroline Mauldin | Social Entrepreneur
I've been extremely fortunate to work on several successful startups, two in the public sector and most recently a for-profit social enterprise, Love Grain, which is connecting Ethiopian farmers to western markers through a line of delicious gluten-free foods. There's something about seeing a concept move from a piece of paper to a living organization that is improving people's lives--I just can't get enough of it!
I'm particularly proud of the Open Government Partnership, or OGP, which I helped get off of the ground while I was working at the State Department. We knew we needed to bring government up to speed with the 21st century--that we could be doing so much more to improve politicians’ accountability, the transparency of policy-making processes, and the engagement of citizens in their democracies. Government is a slow moving beast, often resistant to change, but we figured if we could pull together visionary thinkers from the public sector, civil society, and the private sector, we might just be able to spark a shift towards more open and inclusive government. And sure enough, we did. OGP is now working with over 60 countries around the world, all of which are working with civil society to improve how their governments do business for the people, by the people. Pretty rad.
Ming Thompson | Atelier Cho Thompson
Each project we do is only one part of the portfolio of work that we are building as a firm. It's the existence of the firm itself that is our greatest success so far. Sometimes, I look back on myself two years ago and marvel that I was so fearless. We left jobs at a large architecture firm to start our own unconventional practice. We blindly believed that there was a place in the world for the work that we do, and, through luck, confidence, and an immense amount of hard work, we are doing the projects we always dreamed of doing.
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