The start of the year is always a good time to look at where you are professionally and to start making plans for how you want your career to unfold for the rest of the year. If you need some inspiration, look no further than these women bosses who have broken the glass ceiling and taken their careers to the next level. Can we say #goals?
1. Natasha Bautista, GrabTaxi Philippines
Natasha Bautista is the epitome of beauty and brains. Not only is she a part-time model with the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP), but she is also the force behind GrabTaxi Philippines, a popular taxi mobile app business.
During a modeling stint in Kuala Lumpur, Natasha joined MyTeksi Malaysia as an intern, and in less than year, she brought the business to the Philippines and became its Acting General Manager. She also launched GrabCar, the premium service for GrabTaxi, and even conducts the orientations and trainings herself.
2. Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez, Happy Skin
It has always been Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez’s dream to have her own beauty brand that would make women happy. While developing global brands for Unilever, she often interacted with customers who would tell her stories of how beauty products made them happier, more confident, and more in control of their lives. This led to the creation of Happy Skin, a makeup line that offers an entire range of skin-caring cosmetics.
From an initial five counters during their 2013 launch, Happy Skin has now expanded to 50 locations across the country and is a favorite among Filipina beauty enthusiasts.
3. Tal De Guzman, Risque Designs
Before stumbling upon artisanal shoemaking, Tal De Guzman dealt with worker grievances for her family’s construction business in Laguna. But she decided that she wanted to do her own art and enrolled at SOFA Design Institute to kickstart her entrepreneurial pursuits. Her lightbulb moment for Risque Designs came when her imported shoes from Indonesia fell below expectations and she realized that she can make the shoes here.
Today, Tal partners with different artists such as wood carvers and weavers to make custom-made shoes that are uniquely Filipino.
4. Aisa Mijeno, SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting)
Before she was an inventor and entrepreneur, Aisa Mijeno was a corporate warrior for the IT industry. In 2008, she quit the 9-to-5 to become a volunteer and joined Greenpeace Philippines as a direct dialogue campaigner. Her stint at Greenpeace exposed her to the living conditions of poor families in rural areas, particularly those that do not have electricity.
She saw the effort and hard work it took for people to light their homes at night, and this led her to create a lamp that runs on just salt and water. With funding from angel investors, Aisa aims to bring her innovative lamp to poor families across the country.
5. Sophia Amoruso, Nasty Gal
At age 22, Sophia Amoruso opened an eBay store called Nasty Gal Vintage, which sold vintage and designer clothing pieces. With hard work, and the help of social media and free marketing, she was able to grow her humble online shop into a billion-dollar fashion brand.
Due to her business success, The New York Times has dubbed her "the Cinderella of tech." Sophia has also released a bestselling book #GIRLBOSS which is a must-read for any go-getting alpha femme.
6. Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power, WhoWhatWear.com
As former editors at ELLE magazine, Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power are no strangers to the fashion industry. They decided to dabble in digital content by launching Who What Wear, an online fashion magazine in 2006.
What began a simple blog with once a day posts, has now grown into a multi-media brand with 1.2 million subscribers and 31 million social media followers. WhoWhatWear.com is currently the third largest brand on social media which provides expert advice, fashion tips, and insider information to readers around the world.
7. Jess Lee, Polyvore
Jess Lee is far luckier than most women in tech since she grew her career in Google and was under the tutelage of Marissa Mayer. But her big break and rise to CEO fame is all her own doing. While working as a product manager for Google Maps, Jess typically unwinds by creating outfits in the fashion ecommerce site, Polyvore. She is an avid fan but found that the site could still need some major improvements.
She wrote an extensive letter to the Polyvore founders, detailing all her feedback and suggestions. The reply she was got was a job offer–the founders wanted her to come onboard and fix the problems herself. She joined Polyvore as a product manager, growing the company in enormous ways, and now she serves as its CEO.