From Intern To NYSE Head: Stacey Cunningham’s Barrier-Breaking Rise To The Top Of Wall Street

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By: Moira Forbes

When news broke that Stacey Cunningham had been named President of the New York Exchange, it was hard to find a headline that didn’t make mention of her gender. Cunningham’s rise to the top of one of Wall Street’s most high-profile, male-dominated arenas shattered a 226-year-old ceiling, but the depth of coverage around her history-making appointment caught the industry veteran off guard. “I knew that the fact that I was a woman taking this job would be part of the story. I didn’t realize how much of a story it was going to be,” recalled Cunningham.

Having launched her career as an intern on the trading floor as in 1994, Cunningham never viewed gender as something that either defined or limited her career, a perspective which fueled an initial hesitance to embrace the “first female” label her story now so often carries. “I took it for granted. It wasn’t something I saw as a barrier. There wasn’t a ceiling I was seeing that I was punching through,” she says.

The same determination in not making gender a factor in the opportunities she pursued ultimately contributed the barriers Cunningham was able to break in reaching Wall Street’s top ranks, and she now realizes why spotlight on her trajectory matters.“I do hope that one day gender won’t be as much a part of the conversation. But it’s so important to so many people, and knowing that I’m helping somebody else recognize more opportunities is really rewarding.

I recently sat down with Cunningham to discuss growing up on the floor of the world’s largest stock exchange, the double-edged sword of working in a male-dominated industry and how she’s harnessed the power of her differences, then and now. Edited highlights below.

On Succeeding In a Male-Dominated Arena

Since her internship days, Cunningham has learned a thing or two about how to “play her own game” in the unique work environment of the trading floor. While Cunningham is quick to admit that learning to thrive in an arena customized for men was not without its challenges, she ultimately turned the reality of being outnumbered into a career advantage. “Being a woman in a male-dominated industry cuts both ways. There are pros and cons. I certainly saw the benefit of having a higher profile on the trading floor. I would walk around people knew who I was, because there weren’t that many women down there. That helped my career in many ways.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

5 Tips from a Writing Coach that Fiction Writers and Entrepreneurs Can Use

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Tips for Authors and Entrepreneurs

COLCHESTER, VERMONT–Last year, The New York Times published an article titled “Why Kids Can’t Write.” The article points out that many would-be writers struggle with knowing where to start – and a problem that’s not limited to today’s youth.

There are millions of adults in the workforce who feel inadequate when it comes to sharing their thoughts in writing. Clearly, we are a country of citizens who are desperate for some insight into how we can improve our ability to express our thoughts and tell our stories in writing.

“We all have stories to tell,” explains Annalisa Parent, fiction writing coach, author, and entrepreneur. “The problem is, many would-be authors get stuck on how to tell the story, and tell it well enough so readers will read it and yearn for more. Many people get hung up on school leftovers such as commas and gerunds, and while grammar is important to a quality message, getting your message out should be the writer’s first concern. Many writers put the cart before the horse in this regard, and that’s where hang-ups and writers’ block come from.”

The best way to improve one’s writing skills is to write and to get meaningful feedback. Engaging in a lot of writing will help people hone their skills and become more comfortable sharing their thoughts. Here are five writing tips from Coach Parent that everyone can benefit from:

  1. The first draft doesn’t have to be the last draft. In Parent’s experience, it rarely is. It’s okay to write several drafts to discover your message. In fact, Parent encourages it. To get to that final draft where you message is crystal clear, sometimes it takes asking for meaningful feedback to help a writer through the discovery and thinking phase.
  2. High quality. First drafts can meander, but aim for final drafts that are high quality. High quality writing is clear, concise, and on point, rather than just filling the pages with anything and Annalisa Parenteverything. It’s better to have a little that is high quality than a lot that is just filling space and not saying a lot.
  3. Clarity. Go back and read what you wrote and make sure that your thoughts are clear. If they are not clear to you, then they won’t be to other readers. Aim for clarity so that it makes sense to the reader and they connect with it.
  4. Finding writing flow. Some of the best writing comes when you are in a groove and loving what you are doing. When you lose track of the time and could go on and on, you have found your writing flow. The convergence of neuroscience and creativity have opened the doors into finding creative flow easier and staying there longer.
  5. Get the feedback loop right. Many writers find themselves discouraged from seeking advice from the wrong source. As the saying goes, “free advice is worth what you pay for it,” and free advice from someone who’s not an expert only exacerbates the problem. Parent sees this as a stumbling block for a lot of writers who could otherwise be successful in sharing their message with the world.

“I could add many more strategies to this list in order to help people become better, more efficient writers and storytellers,” adds Parent. “It’s not just kids who need better ability to express themselves today. Many adults are struggling as well. Following these five tips can help people become more confident, comfortable, and their words will flow much easier. The more confident someone becomes with their writing skills, the more they will be able to reach their reader and get across their intended message.”

Parent has coached hundreds of writers and has taught over 100 writing courses around the world. She works with fiction authors, as well as entrepreneurs seeking to write their expert book. Her book Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise Your Novel without an Outline won the CIPA EVVY Silver Award in Best Business Books, and earned a merit award in the Humor category. She has been a featured speaker on writing-related topics across the globe, and she has been a guest on a variety of television, radio, and podcast shows, sharing her secrets for how to write, publish, and sell your book.

For more information about Annalisa Parent, her book, and her coaching services, visit her site at: datewiththemuse.com. For more information on how to become a published author, download her free ebook The Six Secrets to go from Struggling writer to Published Author here: datewiththemuse.com/6secrets.

About Annalisa Parent

Having taught over 100 writing courses, Annalisa Parent has reached countless writers around the world. She offers coaching writing services that have been instrumental in helping writers to go from idea to publishable piece and have the confidence to take their work to the market. She is also the chief executive officer of Laurel Elite Books. For more information on her services, visit her site at: datewiththemuse.com.

This is what it’s like to be one of the few Hispanic women leading a company in 2018

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Latinx leaders are still relatively scarce, but those we spoke to are blazing a trail for others to follow.

As we round out National Hispanic Heritage Month (which runs from September 15 to October 15), celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, Fast Company spoke to Latinx leaders to acknowledge their contributions and recognize their opportunities and challenges.

The challenges are not insignificant with under-representation across the board. Although the Latinx workforce is one of the fastest growing–increasing from 10.7 million in 1990 to 26.8 million in 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11 CEOs lead companies in the Fortune 500 and only 3.5% of Fortune 500 board seats were held by Latinx executives in 2016. The Alliance for Board Diversity says that represents just a .5% increase between 2010 and 2016. Hispanics have the highest rate of new entrepreneurs, but at 12% they have the lowest rate of business loans from financial institutions among all other firms. Hispanic women-owned businesses represent nearly half of all Hispanic firms. However, access to capital, a major facilitator of business growth, isn’t available to them as readily, according to a report from Stanford. And Hispanic women’s equal pay day–the additional number of days in the year they have to work to equal a white man’s pay–isn’t until November 2.

Despite these significant challenges, Latinx leaders continue to blaze a trail for others to follow. Here’s what they told us about the opportunities they’re leveraging to make a difference.

“MY CULTURE RELEASED ME FROM THE FALSE PRESUMPTION THAT THERE WAS ONE RIGHT PATH.”

The biggest challenge is the invisibility of our community in all of the narratives of leadership. We are rarely present. The Latinx folks who have traveled the path are so few, far, in between, and hidden. You rarely get the benefit of learning from the pathbreakers.

For chunks of my upbringing, I resented having one foot in the world of my cultural heritage and one foot in the American experiment but my career helped me deeply appreciate it. Straddling both worlds gave me such a unique lens on what it means to carry different perspectives as a result of different life experiences. It helped me see and grow people for what they could be instead of molding them into a bootleg version of myself. My culture released me from the false presumption that there was one right path.

–Karla Monterroso, CEO, Code2040

“I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE A NATIONAL CONVERSATION.”

As a Latina business executive at a high-growth tech company with a strong consumer brand, I have the opportunity to influence a national conversation. Our country is grappling with so many issues that affect the Latino community: immigration reform, refugee rights, political representation, and voting engagement, and the reality is that those making, executing, and influencing policy are likely to listen to strong members of the business community. Every time I have an opportunity to speak or write something that will be publicly shared, I ensure I am speaking to these issues in some capacity.

It’s no surprise that there is not equal representation of Latinx leaders in the tech industry. This means we are working extra hard to show up everywhere our community needs us. I wear a lot of hats at Lyft–from a VP on the Lyft Business team, to the executive sponsor of our Latinx ERG group, to the company’s representative at events or meetings where the insights from a Latinx executive might be helpful. I also advise a VC fund that is focused on supporting Latinx entrepreneurs–it’s the only VC fund I know of that is focused specifically on this–and while my participation is extremely rewarding, it requires a lot of time and dedication. I feel responsibility for this work, because every voice matters.

–Veronica Juarez, Area VP of Social Enterprise at Lyft

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.

How a Book Can Grow Your Business

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writing coach Annalisa Parent

There are millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners today who would like to take their business to the next level.  A writing coach can help both of these groups achieve their goals.

“The right book–a book that starts a conversation– can do a lot to scale your business,” explains Annalisa Parent, chief executive officer of Laurel Elite Books. “I’ve worked with hundreds of writers, giving them the individualized attention they need in order to achieve more and reach their goals and dreams, and increase sales and client volume. More importantly, they’re getting their message out there, and helping more people.”

Most entrepreneurs, small business owners, and CEOs know that a quality business book can boost their future. They just don’t know how to get it done, especially in the context of their busy lives. Business growth is one of the many benefits that people get when they work with a right writing program, in addition to these 5 things:

  1. How to turn an idea into a publishable piece. Millions of people have a great idea and want to become the authority who wrote the book on it, but they have no idea how to make it happen. Just like a soccer coach helps create better players, so too can a writing coach lead people to becoming more successful authors–or authorities–and reach their ideal audience.
  2. An understanding of the publishing process. The publishing process can be daunting to figure out on your own, but with the right program you’ll have a personalized concierge to walk your way toward success.
  3. How to reach readers and sell your books. Many people finally get their book in their hands, only to find they don’t know how to reach their ideal readers. This often leads to a garage full of books, and a world full of frustration. The right writing program can help you with effective strategies for growing your audience and reaching those people who will want to buy your book and tell their friends about it, too.
  4. Inspiration and confidence. One of the most important things that aspiring authors need is a dose of inspiration and confidence. Becoming a published author is always risky, because people fear rejection after they put themselves out there. The right writing program will help you to overcome that hurdle in effective ways that will make you feel confident and ready to step out as the industry expert you are. .
  5. How to leverage your book as a scaling tool. A client-engaging book not only starts the right conversation, but showcases you as the authority and expert, landing you top spotlight in the media to reach and help even more people.

“Some of the best stories and books have yet to be written, because they are still within the author’s mind. People are looking for, yearning for, the solutions to their problems. When entrepreneurs write the right book, they demonstrate that they are that unique solution,” adds Parent. “I work entrepreneurs to help them go from idea to sold. Entrepreneurs want a better business and a book can help them achieve that.”

Parent also helps entrepreneurs who want to write a book to help grow their business. She explains that entrepreneurs can benefit by working with a writing coach in numerous ways, including:

  • Visibility. A writing coach can help you get the visibility you need in order to advance your career and grow your business.
  • Expertise. A writing coach is an expert at getting books traditionally published and can make it easier for you to understand the process and navigate it.
  • Go-to source. Having a writing coach means you have a go-to source that will be there to answer your individual questions.
  • Featured nationally and internationally. With a writing coach you can expand your reach and tap into larger audiences.
  • Starts a client conversation. A writing coach can help you get the conversations started that will lead to your next book and growing your business.

Parent has coached hundreds of writers and has taught over 100 writing courses around the world. She works with fiction authors, as well as entrepreneurs. Her book “Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise Your Novel without an Outline,” won the CIPA EVVY Silver Award in Best Business Books, and earned a merit award in the Humor category. She has been a speaker giving talks on writing-related topics, and she has been a guest on a variety of television, radio, and podcast shoes, sharing her secrets for how to write, publish, and sell your book. A Teacher of the Year nominee for her use of neuroscientific principles, she applies the same principles to her work with writes to help create confidence, writing flow, and success. She writes for many local, national, and international publications, and is a graduate professor of English at Norwich University.

For more information about Annalisa Parent, her book, and her business scaling services, visit her site at: laurelelite.com. While there, you can sign up for a free business scaling conversation to get your future moving now.

About Annalisa Parent

Annalisa Parent helps entrepreneurs to finish, publish and sell their expert books. She is the CEO of Laurel Elite Books, a two time teacher of the year nominee, and a recipient of the French congressional Medal of Honor.  Annalisa writes for many local, national, and international publications, has written and produced sketches for a Telly-Award winning television show. She has been featured on Huffington Post Live, CBS, Associated Press and Korean Broadcast Systems, as well as many podcasts and radio programs. Her book “Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Outline and Revise your Novel without an Outline” is a recipient of a 2018 CIPA EVVY Silver award for Best Business Book, a finalist in the humor category.

How One Of Sports Most Powerful Executive’s Is Changing Sports Media And Culture

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When Jaymee Messler was growing up, the first thing she saw when she woke up in the mornings was the perfectly lined up roster of Yankees baseball cards that she taped on her wall at the start of the season. As a young athlete and devoted New York sports fan, she could have never predicted that she would go on to pitch their former captain Derek Jeter to found a media company with her, The Players’ Tribune, that she now leads as President.

Messler has spent the last two decades as one of the most influential executives in sports. As CMO of Excel Sports Management, she was a pioneer helping athletes like Jeter and NBA players Kevin Love and Paul Pierce craft their personal brands and establish a digital presence. Her foresight on the emergence of social media not only helped lay the foundation for a new era of brand partnerships and marketing. More importantly, it enabled athletes to communicate with their fans directly for the first time. Today, she’s amplifying that connection with the thousands of first-person stories athletes author on The Players’ Tribune.

Messler’s success has been predicated by the deep relationships she cultivates with athletes, which always begin by acknowledging and respecting them as people. “Athletes are multidimensional. You are not an athlete and then a person. You are a person who is an athlete,” she says. “The Players’ Tribune exists to showcase athletes’ humanity.”

She sat down with us to share her initial conviction for the business and how empowering athletes to help lead the conversation about important topics like gender equality and mental health is catalyzing change across the sports industry.

Becoming indispensable

Messler started her career in DC as an assistant to the prominent chef Jean-Louis Palladin, where she spent her days doing everything from ordering truffle mushrooms to shaping his brand and PR strategy. Though the experience revealed her passion for helping people craft their brands, she ultimately decided to move to New York City to pursue a career outside of the food industry. Shortly after she met Jeff Schwartz, tennis player Pete Sampras’ then agent, who exposed her to the world of sports management. “Finding out that you could marry the management of people and sports was a dream come true for me,” she shares. “I couldn’t believe this was a job.”

Similar to her athletes’ strict training regiments, Messler worked tirelessly to refine the skills she needed to become an indispensable part of their team. Whereas entertainers generally have large management teams, athletes have a small group of individuals supporting them, making every role an around the clock job. “We wanted to help our athletes be as successful as possible. A big part of that was helping them navigate life off the court,” she reflects. “It was always about figuring out how to be a few steps ahead so I could anticipate what they needed – whether it was negotiating a deal or finding a new school for their kids when they got traded – get it done in the background and then anticipate the next thing.”

Messler quickly became an essential thread in the fabric of her players’ lives, giving her a front row seat to the reality of life as a professional athlete. “People question the most granular details of an athlete’s performance but they have no idea what goes on in their personal lives, whether that’s facing a mental health condition or having an ill family member. They don’t walk on the court and just leave all of that behind,” she shares. “Traditional sports reporting has been about rushing to an athlete after a game and asking: ‘What was going through your head when you missed the game-winning shot?’ It’s an impossible question for them to answer and unfair to ask. We saw a need to give athletes an opportunity to open up about their experiences and the issues they’re facing so people can understand them. When you can grasp what’s happening in a person’s life you start seeing them on a human level.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Rizos Curls’ Julissa Prado Shares How Her Latino Upbringing Taught Her Essential Entrepreneurial Skills

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With her enviable mane of bouncy, pink-hued curls, Julissa Prado serves as a walking advertisement for the effectiveness of her products.Roughly one year ago, she officially launched Rizos Curls, an all-natural product line for curly-textured hair. In that short span of time, Prado has amassed 52k+ followers on Instagram, received up to a thousand orders per month, and quit her job to pursue her business full time. But though it might look like overnight success from the outside, her growing business is the result of many years of hard work and hard-earned lessons.

As Prado tells it, she couldn’t have reached this point without the help and support of her family and her larger Latino community, who served as the inspiration for her brand. “I always thought when I made Rizos Curls that I’d make something that would work perfectly for textures as diverse as those of my family’s. In the Latino community we have so many kinds of hair textures – wavy, curly ringlets, coily textures. I have tías that fall under all of those categories. I wanted to make something that allowed us to fall in love with our natural hair,” she explains.

For Prado, Rizos Curls has been a family affair – from consulting with her brother on her business plan, to running her fledgling company out of her parents’ and uncle’s houses, to learning key lessons about how to budget & save from watching her own father run his restaurant business.

Below, she explains how her upbringing helped her develop her entrepreneurial spirit and the skills to build a DIY business.

Your company is directly inspired by the Latino community – can you talk about how the idea came about?

I grew up in very predominantly Latino communities and neighborhoods [in Los Angeles]. I have a huge family, and when we were very young we all lived in one apartment building. Almost every unit was a different family member, so that can give you an idea of the culture and the environment that I grew up in. Growing up, I always saw how so much of my community had textured hair – they had wavy, curly, coily hair, a variety of textures. But they went to great lengths to straighten it, and not embrace it. There was a lot of self-hate around their hair. There was always this notion of ‘your hair is not done until it’s not curly.’

I remember the exact moment where I realized “Oh no, I can’t do this my whole life.” I was going to a quinceañera and my older cousins straightened my hair. Back then, in the hood, we didn’t have flat irons yet, so what they did was put my head over an ironing board and use a clothes iron. My hair was burning! I remember being over that ironing board and thinking “We’ve got to do better than this, we’ve got to figure out a way to feel good about our natural hair.”

So that’s where the idea first started. Even at a young age, I was aware that so many of my insecurities were connected to my inability to embrace my natural hair and myself in my natural state. Once I learned to love my hair it allowed me to love myself, and I wanted to create that feeling in my community. Rizos Curls is not just about the products. We’re a trifecta of the Three Cs: curls, community & culture.

What pushed you to make the leap and turn this interest into a career?

I’m very close to my [older] brother, and he’s the one who helps me a lot with Rizos. We’re very opposite. I’ve always led with my heart and emotion, and he’s ruled by logic. So when I decided I really wanted to go forward with this Rizos idea, I went to my brother with my business plan. I was still pretty young, around 15, and I presented the whole plan to him. He did all this market research – which years later, in business school, I learned is very important when you’re starting something new. Understanding your market, understanding the size of the demographic you’re targeting. He did that research on his own and was blown away. He couldn’t believe a product like Rizos Curls didn’t exist already.

Time passed, I went to college and grad school, and everything I learned, all the business acumen I acquired, all reaffirmed that I had to take this leap. Everything pointed me to, “You’re lucky no one’s jumped on this opportunity yet.” But it took me four years to figure out my product formulas, and I beat myself up a lot for taking so long. I was juggling it with getting a masters, working a full-time job, and maybe I just needed to trust the process. There were many times in that four year process of testing formulas that I didn’t get the results I wanted, and felt like giving up.

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

This black female entrepreneur is rebuilding D.C. with foreign dollars—and a dream

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Angelique Brunner was once the only African American woman in VC from NYC to Atlanta. Now, she runs a $500 million investment firm that is revitalizing D.C.

When Angelique Brunner moved to the nation’s capital two decades ago, she was shocked to find neighborhoods with no stores, no services, and burned-out buildings.

“I started asking around about what is going on here, people told me it was the riots,” she tells Fast Company. “I said, ‘Oh, what riots?’ They said, ‘The Martin Luther King riots.’ I said, ‘The riots were in 1968. So, this is why D.C. doesn’t have grocery stores, and it’s giving away houses for a dollar?’”

The local city government was, in fact, selling off long-abandoned homes for a buck to developers who had the money to rebuild. Some of Washington’s once vibrant black neighborhoods never quite recovered from the unrest in the days following the assassination of the civil rights leader and the subsequent departure of the middle class.

Brunner was stunned and, armed with her degrees in public policy from Brown and Princeton, started learning the ropes in venture capital and then real estate development—determined to make a difference.

And she is making a difference, bringing jobs, homes, and new business to once blighted streets.

As president of EB5 Capital, which she founded a decade ago, Brunner is now one of the driving forces in the revitalization of D.C., leveraging a controversial program that puts rich foreign investors on a path to citizenship in return for their investment dollars.

FOUNDING HER OWN COMPANY

The road to founding her own firm was paved during those first years, initially at a VC firm. “I  was the only African American female from New York to Atlanta that was in venture capital.” She later moved to Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association), where she became an expert in community investing.

“Laypeople might assume that urban areas struggle to get development dollars because no one wants to build there. I learned through the late 1990s and early 2000s that there has always been interest, just not the financing needed to actually execute,” she says.

It was during this time that she became familiar with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and saw an opportunity to bring development dollars to neighborhoods that others did not want to touch. So with the gap in money needed persisting to complete urban projects, and the scars from the riots still showing, she founded EB5 Capital.

“I felt motivated to address this, which is why my second project ever was a grocery store on 7th Street in Northwest D.C. that also had an affordable senior housing component,” she says.

Since then, Brunner has helped connect foreign investors with several major D.C. gems, including City Market at O Street, bringing new residential and commercial life to a once dilapidated but beloved historic city site. Brunner is also behind D.C.’s Columbia Place development, bringing two new Marriott hotels to the downtown convention center area.

JOB CREATOR

Brunner sees her mission as twofold: Rebuilding the capital’s neighborhoods and bringing new jobs to people who desperately need them. And she is an unabashed fan of the EB-5 program, which is up for renewal—and reform—in U.S. Congress. Job creation is at the core of the program, which was founded in 1990 and is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It offers foreign investors green cards in return for job-creating investments in domestic development projects.

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.

Science ‘Mojo’ and an Executive Dream Team: CEO Emma Walmsley’s Bold Prescription for Reviving GlaxoSmithKline

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The new boss is quickly shaking up the three-century old pharma firm.

EMMA WALMSLEY was just six weeks into her tenure as CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, the $38.9 billion British pharmaceutical firm, when “Glaxit” happened.

Glaxit was not a world-shaking geopolitical tremor à la Brexit, but for GSK it may have seemed hardly less significant. Neil Woodford, the much celebrated British fund manager—who had gained fame for coming out of the dotcom crash and the global financial crisis unscathed, and one of GSK’s largest shareholders—announced he was quitting the company. In a blistering 958-word critique—published on May 12, 2017, and garnering coverage from Reuters to the Telegraph—Woodford explained why, after 15 years, he was pulling every last pence out of GSK stock.

Those 15 years had been “frustrating” for him; GSK had remained throughout, he charged, “a health care conglomerate with a suboptimal business strategy.”

Woodford had long been one of GSK’s most vocal critics; for years he had clamored for it to break up into its constituent businesses. (The company has pharmaceutical, vaccine, and consumer health divisions.) He argued the gambit, fashionable in Big Pharma these days, would unlock shareholder value through more focused stand-alone companies. GSK’s leaders—most recently former CEO Sir Andrew Witty—had consistently rejected the idea, contending that the firm’s conglomerate structure provided stability and some synergies.

But the last straw for Woodford seemed to be Walmsley. Of the company’s new chief executive, he wrote, “Even before taking her seat she has been keen to portray herself as a ‘continuity candidate.’” In other words, more of the same.

Walmsley may not be ready to ditch GSK’s conglomerate structure, but in almost every other way, Woodford’s description couldn’t be more wrong.

To begin with, there’s who she is. Neither a man nor a scientist, Walmsley is something of an outsider in pharmaland. She’s the only woman to run one of the large innovative drugmakers, and her path was hardly a typical one. A marketing whiz who spent 17 years at L’Oréal, Walmsley joined GSK in 2010 and started running the company’s consumer health care business the following year.

Then, there’s what she’s done. Since taking charge in April 2017, Walmsley, No. 1 on Fortune’s International Power 50 list, has made swift and radical changes. Within months, she had replaced 40% of her top managers and pulled the plug on 30 drug development programs and 130 brands. She announced plans to stop selling Tanzeum, a diabetes drug for which GSK had won FDA approval only three years prior.

Within a year, she sold off the rare-disease unit and initiated a strategic review of the company’s cephalosporins antibiotic business. She assembled a roster of all-star talent to fill out her executive team, and in July she did a $300 million deal with 23andMe, the data-rich direct-to-consumer genetic testing company. She instituted new (and unheard of, at GSK) levels of organizational hygiene—implementing uniform key performance indicators, employee standards, and strategies across GSK’s three businesses. As Walmsley told Fortune in June: “The way I define the job is, firstly, in setting strategy for the company, and then leading the allocation of capital to that strategy—because until you put the money where you say your strategy is, it’s not your strategy.” For the new boss, that means a new commitment to R&D.

She has also embarked on a cultural overhaul: Meetings get straight to the point and often begin with the question, “What are we here for?” In her first interview as CEO, she told the Financial Times, a bit clumsily, that GSK scientists would no longer be “drifting off in hobbyland” under her watch.

Walmsley is the fresh face of discipline and rigor at GSK. When asked how her communication style compared with that of her predecessor Witty, a senior leader who recently left the company chuckled before responding they couldn’t be more different.

Continue onto Fortune to read the complete article.

Memo to the Silicon Valley boys’ club: Arlan Hamilton has no time for your BS

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Backstage in the greenroom of the podcast festival where she’s scheduled to appear, Arlan Hamilton is quietly singing the lyrics to Janet Jackson’s “Control.” She’d like to walk on stage as the song plays, but the festival crew has copyright concerns. So instead, she is shimmying offstage in her chair, half-humming the chorus under her breath: “I’m in control / Never gonna stop / Control / To get what I want / Control / I like to have a lot.”

Like everything Hamilton does, the song request is equal parts self-aware and unapologetic. Hamilton knows that she stands out—she is the only black, queer woman to have ever built a venture capital firm from scratch. She also knows that she has a reputation for being direct, particularly when it comes to Silicon Valley biases, and how her own story is portrayed. (Indeed, the song is a jab at Gimlet Media, the podcast festival hosts, who devoted an entire episode of their StartUp series on her to what they saw as her sometimes counterproductive need for control.) But Hamilton exudes calm, even as she attempts, through her L.A.-based firm, Backstage Capital, the near impossible task of disrupting the way that venture investors pick winners and create wealth.

“It was crazy to me that 90% of venture funding was going to white men, when that is not how innovation, intelligence, and drive is dispersed in the real world,” she tells me. “I had no background in finance, but I just saw it as a problem. Maybe it’s because I was coming from such a different place that I could recognize it.”

Three years ago, the then 34-year-old Hamilton arrived in Silicon Valley with no college degree, no network, no money, and a singular focus: to invest in underrepresented founders by becoming a venture capitalist. The story of how the former music-tour manager studied up on investing from her home in Pearland, Texas, and pushed her way into the rarified world of venture capital, scoring investments from the likes of Marc Andreessen and Chris Sacca, has become legendary in the industry. After making contact with Y Combinator president Sam Altman, she bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco. For months she stalked investors by day and slept on the floor of the San Francisco airport at night. She was broke. Finally, in September 2015, she got her first check, for $25,000, from Bay Area angel investor Susan Kimberlin, who believed in Hamilton’s vision that the Valley’s lack of diversity wasn’t a talent-pipeline problem as much as a resources problem: Diverse entrepreneurs needed money. With Kimberlin’s endorsement, Hamilton created Backstage Capital and began investing. Other funding soon followed, from backers including Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Box CEO Aaron Levie. This past June, Hamilton announced that Backstage had exhausted its first three seed funds, doling out between $25,000 and $100,000 to 100 startups in everything from beauty products to business analytics. And at all 100, at least one founder is a woman, person of color, or someone who identifies as LGBTQ.

Now Hamilton is gearing up for Backstage’s next chapter, a $36 million fund dedicated exclusively to black women founders, a demographic that’s glaringly absent in Silicon Valley: Just three dozen black women entrepreneurs, nationwide, have raised more than $1 million in venture funding. Hamilton calls her latest initiative the “It’s about damn time fund.” Her first two $1 million investments, to be announced before the end of the year, will go to existing Backstage portfolio companies. And that’s just the start. This spring, Hamilton will launch the Backstage Accelerator to foster early-stage startups with locations slated for L.A., Philadelphia, and London. She’s also laying the groundwork for a $100 million fund to provide underrepresented founders with even larger checks.

Every nascent VC is under pressure to demonstrate success—Hamilton even more so. Those in Silicon Valley who believe that the next Facebook will be created by a woman or person of color are watching her portfolio closely. Others view Backstage with more skepticism, seeing her funds as relatively inexpensive ways for investors to appear committed to diversity without having to do the hard work internally.

Hamilton shrugs it off. In an industry where privilege begets privilege—and at a time when racial justice in this country seems precarious, at best—she is claiming her seat at the table. “How much of a fist in the air would it be to just be obnoxiously wealthy as a gay black woman?” she wonders. “And [how powerful] to be able to help other people do the same?”

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.

How This Tech Founder Is Giving The Internet A Face Lift By Changing The Way We Shop

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Shirley Chen’s list of experiences is as diverse as it is impressive: she spent her childhood on China’s national gymnastics team, studied biochemical engineering at Columbia University, interned at Chanel, Bergdorf Goodman, and Vogue, and worked as a media and retail consultant at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm.

Chen never imagined her resume would include founding a company. But when a former Vogue colleague tapped her on the shoulder to run the marketing and business development for luxury goods brand Moda Operandi, a seed was planted. Chen was tasked with driving customer acquisition with a specific focus on digital e-commerce, and that’s where she spotted a gap in the market.

Companies were so focused on the traffic from traditional platforms like Google and Facebook that they were missing a valuable source of customer acquisition—online content. When consumers wanted to find the trendiest swimsuit, most effective blackout curtains, or best-priced coffee maker, they looked for the answer in online magazines and blogs. The problem with that was two-fold. On the one hand, thanks to an aging internet, many older links on publishers’ pages are dead, leading consumers to 404 pages. On the other, many publishers were using hardcoded, static links to Amazon product pages (some 650 million times per month), meaning consumers didn’t have the opportunity to consider purchasing from other retailers, even if Amazon didn’t have the best price. In either case, it was a lose-lose-lose situation for consumers, advertisers, and publishers alike.

Chen devised a solution with Narrativ, a tech company that’s using AI to #EndThe404 and build a better internet for shoppers by making sure that every time they click on a product link on a publisher’s site, it will lead not just to an active page, but to the retailers with the best price.

“We built a SmartLink technology that repaired broken links online, and we democratized that pipeline that was being hard credited to Amazon through content,” Chen explained. “The mission is to improve the consumer shopping experience and build a better research experience as well when it comes to buying products.”

The results so far have been stellar. In the year since their launch out of stealth mode, Narrativ has raised over $3.5 million in venture capital, rewired more than one billion links, and impacted more than 200 million internet users each month. Narrativ, who has also partnered with notable brands like Dermstore, Ulta Beauty, and New York Magazine, is set to deliver more than $600 million in advertiser value in 2018, and has earned a nod from the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer.

Chen stands at the helm of it all, CEO of a game-changing tech company she was once almost too afraid to build. She recalls the nervousness she felt when the idea first came to her. She approached two former employers to build it, but both declined. That’s when Chen’s mentor, head of McKinsey’s North America Media spoke the words that fired her up: “Why don’t you build this thing on your own? I think you’re being a real coward.” She knew that he spoke not to discourage her, but to push her to make a move.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

CareerBuilder Promotes President and Chief Operating Officer Irina Novoselsky to Chief Executive Officer

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CareerBuilder, one of the largest independent technology companies providing “hello to hire™” HR solutions to global customers, today announced the implementation of its leadership succession plan. Irina Novoselsky, who joined CareerBuilder in October 2017 as President and Chief Operating Officer, is being named the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. Matt Ferguson, following 14 years as Chief Executive Officer, will assume the role of Executive Chairman effective today, helping to oversee the Company’s continued evolution as it invests in mobile, artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide innovative end-to-end employment and HR solutions.

Under Ferguson, the company grew its marketing from 16 million unique visitors and 400,000 jobs per year to 200 million unique visitors and nearly 8 million jobs globally last year. CareerBuilder now serves 90 percent of the Fortune 1000 and has expanded into 185 markets globally.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team,” Ferguson said. “For nearly 25 years, CareerBuilder has been instrumental in transforming the HR industry. We led the way in online recruiting, and now we offer our customers a single destination to help them find, manage, screen and onboard talent,” said Ferguson. “CareerBuilder has served millions of job seekers, employees and businesses worldwide – and we’ve built a strong and enduring culture that is poised to disrupt this industry again. With Irina assuming the CEO role, we have a determined, passionate leader to take CareerBuilder’s strategy and innovative technology solutions to the next level, and continue helping people and businesses succeed in the new world of work. All the pieces are in place, and the time is right for me to transition the CEO role and continue to serve as Executive Chairman.”

“Irina is a talented tech executive with the perfect complement of skills to further establish CareerBuilder as the innovative partner of choice in the competitive HR tech space,” said David Sambur, Senior Partner of majority shareholder Apollo Global Management and current Chairman of the CareerBuilder board.  “I also want to thank Matt for his 14 years of service and I look forward to his continued leadership as our new Executive Chairman.”

“I’m honored to be at the helm of a company with such a long heritage of innovation, service excellence and talented people,” said Novoselsky. “Our strength in online recruitment – combined with new, AI-powered solutions that span the end-to-end candidate and recruiter experience – puts CareerBuilder in a unique position to help our global customers improve their workflows, integrate their processes to drive profitability, increase productivity and maximize business results. Today’s HR teams are being asked to do more with less, and CareerBuilder’s industry-leading technology and services can help them.”

Continue onto Career Builder’s Press Room to read the complete article.