It is an incredible time to be a woman right now. From Time's Up and Me Too to the women's marches being held across the country, the time of the womaneer is now. Yes, the next wave of pioneering women isn't holding back. Just like the above movements, women around the world are taking the reins and steering full speed toward a future that values equality, freedom of choice, and integrity.
That's why we launched our womaneer campaign this year and opened it up to you, our readers, to help us uncover the new voices who are leading the charge and, in the process, rewriting the history books for our time. So what is a womaneer exactly? She is a woman who defies societal norms with heroism and tenacity to become a pioneering voice in her field, and we are thrilled to finally announce the 10 womaneer honorees, including our community winner, Matha Hoover, founder of Patachou Inc.
We will spotlight the phenomenal work of these women at an invite-only power lunch next week in Los Angeles, co-hosted by our own womaneers and Clique co-founders, Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power. Read on to learn more about these inspiring women and why we believe they will change the world.
Name: Bozoma Saint John
What she does: Chief marketing officer at Endeavor, former chief brand officer at Uber and marketing executive at Apple Music
Why we nominated her: Bozoma Saint John has been a fearless pioneer in the tech industry where women, especially women of color, have not been visible, let alone held C-suite positions. The self-professed "superexecumom" is unapologetically herself, and she's on a mission to disrupt, contribute to, and enhance the traditionally male-dominated tech industry culture while diversifying the seats at the table across Silicon Valley and beyond. We can't wait to see what move she makes next. She has even hinted at a future career in politics.
Name: Amy Pascal
What she does: Film producer at Pascal Pictures and former co-chairperson at Sony's Columbia Pictures
Why we nominated her: After her infamous dismissal from Sony in 2015 (she spent 18 years in the role), Amy Pascal has reinvented herself. Launching her own production company, Pascal Pictures, she has since produced some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters including Spider-Man: Homecoming, Molly’s Game, and The Post, which was nominated for an Academy Award, with dozens more films in the works. Pascal is proof that opportunity can come at any age; all you need is a little vision and a whole lot of grit.
Name: Moj Mahdara
What she does: CEO of Beautycon Media
Why we nominated her: Before Beautycon was the sparkly, glamorous, and large-scale festival you know today, it was actually a small meetup for beauty bloggers at YouTube studios in L.A. That’s until Moj Mahdara got her creative hands on it. Since she took the CEO position in 2015, Beautycon is a sellout event from Los Angeles to London with 15,000 attendees, earning the L.A.-based startup $16 million in revenue last year. While the growth stats are certainly impressive, it’s Mahdara's personal mission to create an inclusive event that promotes varying definitions of beauty that truly sets her apart.
Name: Pamela Fletcher
What she does: Vice president of General Motors Global Electric Vehicles Program
Why we nominated her: It makes sense that before Pamela Fletcher was the vice president of General Motors Global Electric Vehicles Programs (including the Chevrolet Volt, Spark, and Bolt EV) she was a little girl sitting trackside watching her dad race. She grew up around cars and her curiosity for how they work fueled her interest in engineering and later a masters in the subject. With only 24% of positions in STEM filled by women, Fletcher hopes that her visibility will foster curiosity in the field among young girls.
"STEM won't be for everybody, but I want the door to be open for everyone, and then it's a choice," she told MyDomaine. There's a reason Fast Company listed her as one of the most creative people in 2017.
Name: Liz Lambert
What she does: Hotelier, Founder of Bunkhouse Group
Why we nominated her: Hotel San José is achingly hip and brimming with fashionable guests in the cool town of Austin, Texas, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, it was a seedy motel when Liz Lambert purchased it, but she quickly transformed it into a coveted home for the stylish traveler. She has since expanded, buying up several other hotels which have all been remodeled with her creative flair. With the Austin-based Saint Cecilia, the Havana in San Antonio, and El Cosmico in Marfa (trailers, tents, and teepees on 18 acres), Lambert is well on her way to creating an empire with her collection of cool hotels under the Bunkhouse Group.
Name: Martha Hoover
Title: Founder of Patachou Inc.
About: Before she was named Eater's restaurant empire builder of the year in 2017, Martha Hoover was a sex crimes prosecutor and had never worked in the hospitality industry. It was 1989 when she opened her first restaurant in Indianapolis with a sustainable focus, only using locally grown ingredients with a scratch cooking philosophy. Now under her company, Patachou Inc. she independently owns and operates 14 restaurants and is a James Beard Award semifinalist. But it's her philanthropy that secured our vote as this year's community winner.
Her charity, the Patachou Foundation, serves healthy meals to at-risk and food-insecure children. Now that's a mission we can all get behind.
Name: Paloma Elsesser
What she does: Model and plus-size advocate
Why we nominated her: When you're hand selected on Instagram by world-renowned celebrity makeup artist Pat McGrath to star in her first-ever beauty line, the world pays attention. Since that fateful moment, Elsesser has reached It-girl status, smashing body stereotypes by walking famous fashion runways and fronting the campaigns of Fenty Beauty and Glossier. But the beauty has proven her advocacy chops as well, speaking out on body diversity and the need for more inclusivity in fashion. She is certainly paving a different path for herself and others to come behind her.
Name: Nadya Okamoto
What she does: Founder of Period
Why we nominated her: At the tender age of 16, Nadya Okamoto was already leading the "menstrual movement." When she witnessed homeless people using brown paper bags, socks, and rags for their period, she felt compelled to help and founded her company, Period. Not only does she distribute menstrual products to homeless women, Okamoto is on a mission to celebrate periods and eliminate the taboo by changing the way we talk about them. On top of that, she is also an advocate for policy change and is working to repeal the tampon tax and lobby for menstrual products in public places.
Name: Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest
What they do: Butchers and co-owners of JE Small Goods, formerly at White Gold Butchers
Why we nominated them: It's not every day you see female nose-to-tail butchers, but Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest are some of the best in the industry. The former star butchers of the now-defunct White Gold Butchers in New York have been recognized by The New York Times as being among the new guard of female couples running restaurants. The couple specializes in local and ethical sourcing of responsibly raised farm animals and recently launched J+E SmallGoods, a company that provides small-batch, well-sourced deli meats and sausages to the consumer.