4 Women Shaking Things Up
Here are four women shaking things up.
Meghan French Dunbar, Conscious Company Media
One evening, after working long hours at her publishing job, Meghan turned off her phone and enjoyed some pizza and a few bottles of wine with her best friend, Maren Keeley. During the meal, the two discovered a gaping hole in the publishing industry that they believed deserved attention: there was no well-curated print magazine about sustainable business in the U.S. That same night, at 1 a.m., Meghan received an e-mail that changed her life. She was being fired from her full-time job. The reason? She wasn’t answering her phone outside of working hours.
This sparked in Meghan an ardent passion for co-founding a new kind of print media company. In a time when print publications are floundering, Meghan’s Conscious Company Media gained ground. Instead of giving into fear and negative thoughts, Meghan reframed risk and asked herself, “What would happen if we succeeded?” That question made all the difference.
Conscious Company is a print and digital media company that believes “companies and business leaders have a crucial role to play in creating an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually meaningful human presence on this planet.” Through multimedia storytelling and events, co-founders Meghan and Maren and their team inspire people and businesses to work toward creating a better world for this and future generations. In her own words, Meghan says, “I believe business is the most powerful force on earth and, when used in a positive way, can make the change that we need to see in the world.”
Elayne Fluker, Support is Sexy
Media consultant, entrepreneur, and speaker with over 20 years of multimedia experience, Elayne Fluker has always known she’s wanted to tell stories. She’s particularly inspired by women’s stories. The strength, dedication, perseverance, and courage that has defined women through the generations is her wheelhouse. She has brought her passion and expertise to some of the industry’s top companies in print, digital, television, video, and radio, including (but certainly not limited to) HuffPost, BET, Martha Stewart Living, Essence, People, CNN, and Nightline, and has delivered speeches at the United Nations, New York University, Columbia University, and the Women of Power Summit. She’s a powerhouse and now brings her extensive talent and drive to Team Rosie!
As the host of Support is Sexy, a podcast for women entrepreneurs, Elayne is creating a space for women to share their experiences. Through her digital marketing and communication company, Chic Rebellion Media, Elayne helps women control their own narratives, refine their goals, and continually develop their brands. With her new venture, Girl on Podcast, she’s helping women entrepreneurs appear on women-hosted or -focused podcasts, saying “I support women on both sides of the mic with raising their voices and growing their business.”
Ashley Jones, Love Not Lost
Ashley’s daughter, Skylar, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscle Atrophy (SMA) type 1 at two months old. Doctors said Skylar wouldn’t see her first birthday. A friend gifted Ashley and her family with a professional portrait session to forever capture those precious moments. The photographer, who was also impacted by SMA, donated the session, gifted a photo book, and came back a year later for another free family session. Skylar celebrated her first birthday and her family was able to enjoy 21 beautiful months with her.
Those professional photos offered Ashley a sliver of joy in a world full of heartache after Skylar’s passing. A photographer herself, Jones has always understood the power of photos, but it wasn’t until she lost Skylar that she experienced how healing mere photography could be for someone in the throes of grief.
Ashely wanted to give the gift of lasting memories to other families. She created Love Not Lost, a non-profit organization that provides free portrait sessions and hand-crafted photo albums to families with loved ones facing a terminal diagnosis. Love Not Lost also offers resources that help grieving families survive and endure.
Frida Polli, pymetrics
Dr. Frida Polli, a Harvard and MIT trained neuroscientist, asked herself why Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify have more accuracy in matching people with products/movies/music than academics do matching students with careers. Students work for years towards that coveted internship or job, only to find out three days in that they hate it. This isn’t just a problem for newly minted graduates, either, this can be an issue for anyone who switches their career. As if that wasn’t enough, bias has filtered into the job market, meaning job opportunities are not usually afforded to people outside the “norm.” For example, Frida is a tech entrepreneur and a 38-year-old single mom who doesn’t outwardly fit the mold of a 20-something male entrepreneur. Still, Frida found her niche. She applied her academic experience to a problem she saw in the world and found a solution.
Co-founder and CEO of pymetrics, a science-based career matchmaking company, Frida uses AI and neuroscience games to match people with jobs in which they’ll actually succeed. This technology saves companies and potential employees time and money normally spent searching for the right hires and careers. With their bias-free algorithm, pymetrics is also seeing “record diversity across gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.”