Happy Women's History Month!
Let’s get down to biz. 2022 marked a record year for women in the highest- ranking corporate roles. Let’s highlight a few women that paved their own path and/or climbed their way to the top of companies to break the stigma.
If you’re in the creative space, you know about the popular graphic design platform, Canva. Canva was launched by Melanie Perkins and two partners in 2013. Little did she know it would become one of the biggest competitors to Microsoft and Adobe.
Melanie Perkins is a 32- year old, Australian entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Canva. Perkins wanted to make design accessible to everyone - whether it be for presentations, business cars, social media, portfolios, resumes etc.
Perkins was in university at Perth with her now-husband/co-founder when she thought if the initial idea. As a part time income, she was teaching classes on design softwares. She realized that these programs were very difficult for the average person and knew there needed to be something more user-friendly.
She started out by launching the program to students and creating yearbooks from her mom’s living room. 5 years later, she's pitching the software to Silicon Valley investors. Perkins ideas were often rejected. In 2010 she received her big break an met investor Bill Tai.
Melanie Perkins is the true definition of entrepreneur from starting as a dream as a teen to becoming one of the most popular design softwares that is worth $40 billion. We're huge fans of Canva. Use our code here.
If you’ve never heard of Rosalind Brewer, we’re glad you’re reading because she is a trailblazer that won’t stop. Rosalind Brewer is currently the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. This also makes her one of the only Black women CEO of the Fortune 500 companies.
Brewer has been making history throughout her entire career. After graduating from college, she worked at Kimberly Clark and worked her way up to Global President. She then went on to work at Walmart and worked her way to become President and CEO of Sam’s club. She was the first African American to lead a Walmart division. Following that she became the Chief Operating Officer at Starbucks where she also made history in being the first African American woman in the executive position.
Throughout her entire career she has been able to turn around and grow large companies like Kimberly-Clark and Walmart. In an interview with the TODAY show, she talked about what she wanted to do in her role as CEO of Walgreens, "That's to have impact, make change happen, lead something that would leave an impression on people's lives.”
In that same interview, the mother of 2 also talked about the discrimination she constantly faces even in her executive position. Receiving those pushbacks does not stop her from continuing to advocate for diversity in business.
We’re switching gears a little and talking about a Mexicana digital content creator turned founder and CEO of 2 companies - Desi Perkins (no relation to Melanie Perkins mentioned earlier). Desi Perkins started her career as a freelance makeup artist in the early 2000s. In 2012, she found herself creating content on Youtube and quickly grew her channel to over 3 million subscribers and over 4 million followers on Instagram.
Desi Perkins is owner and is CEO of both DEZI, which is a luxury eyewear line and DEZI SKIN, a luxury skincare line. Her passion for design and beauty started at a young age when she watched her mother sketch clothing and accessories and get ready for the day at her vanity.
Yes, Perkins is an “influencer” turned founder and CEO but what makes her story special is that she shares so many aspects of herself on Instagram and YouTube that she created her own tight knit community that loves her as a person and everything she creates. For example, Perkins speaks about her infertility struggle and shared her entire IVF journey in a series on YouTube, which really connected to millions of women going through the same journey. Perkins is also known to show every side of herself from her hair loss, no makeup chats on Instagram to her glamorous outfits and outings to brand events.