Throughout history, women have contributed to the revolutionary progression of business; but, it wasn’t easy! To be able to contribute decades ago, women had to break laws, shock culture and act as trailblazers as they fought for equality; from finding a voice to using it to change the World.
Eliza Pinckney (1722-1793)
We can thank Elizabeth Lucas Pinckney for our favorite blue jeans! At 16-years-old, she is the sole reason blue jeans were created as she planted the first Indigo plant in North America, which soon transformed to become a multi-million dollar business. Eliza quickly learned how to successfully cultivate and export Indigo while managing three plantations and by 1775, her business was exporting over 1 million pounds of indigo annually, worth over $30 million.
Mary Katherine Goddard (1738-1816)
Big thanks to Mary for our U.S. independence. While she did not write the Declaration of Independence, she was responsible for publishing it. As the United States Governments 1st female employee, she continued to manage the Baltimore post office during a war, while continuing to pave her name as the publisher of The Maryland Journal for over a decade.
Coco Chanel (1883-1971)
When you think of a (LBD) “little black dress” Coco Chanel( AKA Gabrielle Chanel) always comes to mind. Now a legendary and iconic fashion designer, Gabrielle’s early years were spent being raised in an orphanage, where she learned to sew. Years after opening her first boutique, she invented the shoulder bag before soon popularizing the LBD. Last year, her brand was valued at $13.2 billion.
Margaret Rudkin (1897-1967)
As an ambitious mother, Margaret turned a solution into a multi-billion dollar company. Rudkin’s son faced severe allergies and asthma, whose condition made it nearly impossible to eat any processed products. After baking all-natural stone ground whole wheat bread with nutrients intact, Margaret proved doctors, and society wrong. Allowing her son to once again enjoy bread, while marketing to the masses. She soon opened the first modern bakery, which has transformed today into a multinational brand.
Murial Siebert, Google Photos
Estee Lauder (1908-2004)
A guerilla sales extraordinaire, and marketing genius, Estee Lauder and Adapting Social would have really got along if given the chance. Estee Lauder built a cosmetic empire that became wildly popular through the advertising technique she coined “Tell-A-Woman”, which is known today as Word-of-Mouth Marketing. Through free demonstrations at various retailers, giveaways and word of mouth, she was able to build what is known today as a $16.2 billion company.
Murial Siebert (1928-2013)
Taking the title of THE “First Lady” of Wall Street, Murial Siebert (aka Mickie), claimed the seat of first women elected to the New York Stock Exchange in 1967. This was revolutionary, to say the least, as it was in the midst of an era, and an industry that didn’t exactly treat women equally. Mickie broke through barriers and changed the way women contributed to the financial industry.
Thousands of women should be on this list. Every day, women everywhere are making an impact; whether that be in business, in education, politically, or culturally. In honor of International Women’s Day, we want to take a moment to say thank you to all of the ambitious, driven and dedicated women who have had the courage to break barriers, build a name for themselves and pave the way for the future.