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The 300 or so Phenomenal Innovative Females Forbes Forgot

Updated: Sep 14, 2019

By: Claire Diaz-Ortiz

(assistance by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino for

It’s been a bad month for women in business. 

First, WeWork filed for its IPO with a board of directors made up entirely of men (I call this a “moard”). Then, depressing research from Harvard Business Review came out showing that #metoo has created a backlash of exclusionary practices in the workplace that have made some things worse for women. Finally, Forbes, in efforts to win the dumpster fire wars, released a report of 100 innovators, featuring only 1 woman on the whole list. (Another white guy at Forbes has since issued an exceedingly boring non-apology.)

In honor of all this bad news, I put my feet up, grabbed one or four cups of coffee, and came up with my own list. 

To be clear (as Forbes was not), here was my methodology:

Drink Coffee 

Think of Cool Women I Admire in Random Industries

Drink More Coffee

Thanks to Aria Finger, Katie Stanton, and Arlan Hamilton for taking on their own suggested lists. I have included them all, as perhaps they humbly felt one cannot nominate oneself on one’s own entirely subjective list (I disagree; they are too awesome). Additionally, thanks to Kimberly Bryant for leading the charge on the need for objective data points and non-subjective lists as a counterbalance to Forbes’ hot mess express. 100% agreed, but this is not that. (See “four cups of coffee”.) 

Here we go! The 300 or so Phenomenal Innovative Females Forbes Forgot 

(By the way, this list is not numbered in order of importance. It is numbered for organizational purposes. We're addng to it as you comment with more important women to add.)

2. Jen Rubio

3. Ellen Mcilroy

4. Indra Nooyi

5. Oprah Winfrey

6. Jessica Alba

8. Cindy Mi

9. Lisa Wang

10. Tatiana Simonian

11. Chanel Miller

12. Eileen Lee

14. Christie George

15. Erica Anderson

16. Kimberly Bryant

17. Jennifer Gunter

18. Laura Gomez

19. Arianna Huffington

20. Christie Pitts

21. Ellen Pao

22. Marta Cruz

23. Susana Garcia Robles

24. Natalia Oberti Noguera

25. Maria Velissaris

26. Aria Finger

28. Cristina Palmaka

29. Graciela Kumruian

30. Iana Chan

31. Arlan Hamilton

32. Sanyin Siang

33. Angela Duckworth

34. Ayse Birsel

35. Lisa Sharon Harper

36. Serena Williams

37. Nicki Goulimis

38. Jasmine Crowe

39. Paula Bellizia

40. Shan Lyn-ma

41. Lisa Skeete Tatum

42. Rita Narayan

43. Arum Kang

44. Reshma Saujani

45. Marah Lidey

46. Monica Herrero

47. Julia Collins

48. Gina Gotthilf

49. Paula Paschoal

50. Sheila Gujrathi

51. Michelle Cordeiro Grant

52. Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

53. Morgan DeBaun

54. Afton Vechery

55. Jessica Mah

56. Tracy Chou

57. Y-Vonne Hutchinson

58. Ursula Burns

59. Anne-Marie Campbell

60. Barbara Whye

61. Susan Reid

62. Erica Joy Baker

63. Madeleine Clavijo Verjel

64. Marta Forero

65. Maite Muniz Telleria

67. Alisa Cohn

68. Sara Blakely

69. Reese Witherspoon

71. Therese Tucker

72. Laurene Powell Jobs

73. Maren Brannon

74. Sophia Bendz

76. Keely Stevenson

78. Michelle Obama

79. Emily Weiss

80. Dorie Clark

81. Jesse Draper

82. Brianne Kimmel

83. Kara Swisher

84. Molly Tschang

85. Susan Fowler

86. Halle Tecco

87. Jenny Abramson

91. Anne Wojcicki

93. Heidi Zak

94. Nora Khaldi

95. Yeva Hyusyan

96. Steph Corey

97. Anne Boden

98. Freada Kapor Klein

99. Maria Paz Gillet

100. Rosalind Brewer

101. Tiffany Dufu

102. Mellody Hobson

103. Kike Oniwinde

104. Davinia Tomlinson

105. Emma Sinclair

106. Chrissy Teigen

107. Ritu Karidhal (Rita, Nandini and Anuradha are freakin' ORBITING MARS so WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR ONE LADY LIFE?!)

Nandini Harinath

Anuradha TK

108. Velma Foster

110. Julia Beardwood

111. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

112. Anna Auerbach 

113. Annie Dean

116. Cindy Gallop

117. Nancy McKinstry

118. Sharon Price John

119. Deborah Cafaro

120. Sheri Salata

121. Jennifer Vaughn

122. Ellen Kullman

123. Beth Comstock

124. Vicki Knott

125. Beatriz Molero Sanchez

126. Dr. Nakeema Stefflbauer

127. Alexie Harper

128. Kate McCue

129. Wendy Williams

130. Wendi Carpenter

131. Kara Goldin

132. Elena Lavezzi

133. Nikole Hannah-Jones

134. Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino

135. Sallie Krawcheck

136. Beth Comstock

137. Tina Sharkey

138. Marie Forleo

139. Kim Ludeman

140. Peggy Cherng

141. Diane Sontum

142. Adriana Gascoigne

143. Amy C. Edmondson

144. Frances Frei

145. Charlene Li. 

146. Tayie Selasi 

148. Pearl Collings 

149. Fiona 

150. Jayshree Seth

151. Elvina Beck

152. Lisa Marrone

153. Alyssa Ravasio

154. Michele Romanow 

155. Katie Porter

156. Bethenny Frankel

157. Kat Cole

158. Deanna Zandt

159. Lianne Mandelbaum

160. Catherine Bowes

161. Nicole Sahin

162. Deidre Paknad

163. Debbie McGrath

164. Stephanie Buscemi

165. Sharon Vosmek

166. Surbhi Sarna 

167. Rosa Beth Moss Kanter

168. Brene Brown

169. Tasha Eurich

170. Tashiko Akiyoshi 

171. Cy Wakeman

172. Hilarie Koplow-McAdams 

173. Sarah Braud 

174. Monica Smiley

175. Kristi S. Moore

176. Inez elliot

177. Taylor Goodell

178. Carrie Peele

179. Viviana Valverde

180. Susan Diamond

181. Lynn Whitesell

182. Greg Renfrew

183. Emma Isaacs

184. Priyanka Chopra

185. Vicki Saunders

186. Michelle Liddle

187. Andrea Santos

188. Nancy Fletcher

189. Robin Koval

190. Biola Alabi 

191. Kathleen Cooney Clarke

192. Alexandra Waldman

193. Polina Veksler

194. Anastasia Manivanh

195. Melanie Perkins 

196. Jodi Scott

197. Jen Scott 

198. Daina Taimina

199. Julie Haddon 

200. Elizabeth Scharpf 

201. Madonna Badger

202. Anousheh Ansari

203. Pardis Sabeti (she fixed Ebola SO WHAT DID YOU DO TODAY?!)

204. Parisa Tabriz

205. Avid Larizadeh Duggan

206. Soraya Darabi

207. Roxane Varza

212. Dr. Indira Hinduja (an doctor who pioneered the Gamete intrafallopian transfer technique (GIFT) resulting in the birth of India's first GIFT baby on 4 January 1988! ps I love my ivf twins!)

215. Dr. Patti Fletcher (who never misses an opportunity to promote other female disrupters)

217. Lisa Ling

221. Leyla Acaroglu UN Champion of the Earth 2016

231. Carla Hayden

232. Marin Alsop

233. Emilie Aries

234. Deirdre Quinn

235. Simone Giertz

236. Chimamanda Ngozi

238. Jacinda Arden

239. Dr. Yasmin Weiß

240. Julia Thorpe

241. Adeline Ledford

242. Jody Levy

243. Rhonda Kallman

244. Kim Jordan

245. Meg Gill

246. T Robinson

247. Jennie Ripps & Maria Littlefield

248. Jamie Hoffman

249. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

260. Emma Watson

261. Shonda Rhimes

262. Lori Goldstein

263. Liz Falkner

264. Danielle Weisberg

265. Carly Zakin

266. Arlene Dickenson

267. Gisel Ruiz

268. Shauna Niequist

269. Ally Fallon (don't get me started)

270. Mari Smith

271. Marlo Thomas

272. Rebecca Kantor

273. Carolyn Hamilton

274. Maria Shriver

275. Gayle King

276. Brianna Brown-Keen

277. Betty White

278. Cindi Mi

279. Lynne Doughtie

280. Temple Grandin

281. Erin Brokovich

And, the list would not be complete without an honorable mention for Barbara Rentler, the one woman who DID make the Forbes list. She leads Ross Stores, where I buy discounted socks.

Who did I forget? Please comment below and we'll keep growing this list!

About Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Claire Diaz-Ortiz (@claire) is an author, speaker, innovation advisor and angel investor who was an early employee at Twitter. Named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company and called “The Woman Who Got the Pope on Twitter” by Wired, she holds an MBA and other degrees from Stanford and Oxford and has been featured widely in print and broadcast media. She is the award-winning author of eight books that have been published in more than a dozen countries.

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino @BestEverYou

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is the Chief Executive Officer of Compliance4, CEO/Founder of Best Ever You and an author with Hay House/Penguin Random House of the best-selling book: PERCOLATE - Let Your Best Self Filter Through. Elizabeth ranks consistently as one of the Top 40 social media CEOs on Twitter. Elizabeth and her husband Peter R. Guarino, Esq,. live in Maine with their four sons.

A very special thank you to Claire Diaz-Ortiz for not only naming me and so many others to her amazing list, but for also being so kind for giving me the nod and help to post this on the website. Claire, we all know you're at the top of the list! Your love and support for all of us and those added shows! We're all grateful!


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