The members of Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women come from an array of big companies, innovative nonprofits, government organizations, inventive startups, and the arts. And each one is doing something exceptional to make the world a better place for women and girls.
You can browse the full list of extraordinary women here (prepare for major inspiration). Below, we highlight some remarkable members of the league—women who are friends and clients of Fenton, as well as advocates for causes we care deeply about. Thanks to writer Ellen McGirt for creating this wonderful and important piece (profiles below are by McGirt).
Cofounder and Copresident, Daphne Foundation
The foundation gives grants to organizations that combat poverty in NYC and Africa. The latest grant went to the grass-roots Picture the Homeless, which reported that 3,551 empty buildings and 2,489 empty lots can house 199,981 people in New York City. Disney also produced the 2008 TriBeCa Film Festival’s Best Documentary Feature, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, which traces the struggles of Liberian women.
Executive Sponsor, Facebook Women
The VP of global marketing solutions at Facebook is the executive sponsor of Facebook Women, an employee relations group that holds women-only discussions in more than 15 offices around the globe. Once a year, Facebook Women holds a summit in San Francisco that brings external speakers into the fold.
Cochair and Trustee, Gates Foundation
Melinda Gates has been a consistent voice for women around the world who are dealing with the wrenching circumstances of poverty. In an April 2012 TEDxChange talk, Gates called upon governments to establish universal access to birth control for women. The foundation plans to organize a world summit in London this summer to bring leaders together and raise $4 billion, the estimate of what it will cost to provide 120 million women birth control by 2020. @melindagates
Executive Director, 10×10
The 10×10 film and social action project follows the hardships and triumphs of 10 girls in struggling areas of 10 different countries: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nepal, Peru, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, where less than 50% of girls who enroll in primary school complete it. @10x10act
Director of External Partnerships, Zynga.org
Within just five days of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Zynga’s gaming community raised $1.5 million for relief, and in 2011 Hartman helped open the L’Ecole de Choix school. Zynga has also used its games (specifically Mafia Wars) to raise over $875,000 for Direct Relief International, which provided relief to Japan after the earthquake. @zynga
President and CEO, The Paley Center for Media/She Made It
Mitchell hosts The Paley Center’s “She’s Making Media,” a TV series about women who use media in influential ways. For the second season, which aired earlier this year, Mitchell interviewed Glenn Close, Marlo Thomas, Jane Fonda, Arianna Huffington, Eve Ensler, and Maria Elena Salinas. @PaleyCenter
Founder, Women for Women International
In partnership with Kate Spade New York, Women for Women’s Hand in Hand project, which provides training in embroidery, weaving, and bead-work to women in war-torn countries, will expand product development to women in Afghanistan this year. The objective: produce 5,000 items a year and up to 15,000 items by 2013. @WomenforWomen
Founder, She’s The First
According to the UN, the most dangerous place in the world to be born a girl is India, where forced abortions, killing of unwanted female infants, and trafficking are in abundance. At a benefit concert during Internet Week New York this spring, She’s the First, which helps send girls to school, raised an estimated $35,000. The money will assist up to 300 Indian girls who have the chance to become the first in their families to graduate secondary school. @shesthefirst