11 Of Our Favorite Pieces Of Career Advice From Female Founders
Leigh Weingus •
It should probably go without saying that International Women's Day is one of our favorite days over here at Silk + Sonder. We aim to honor and encourage women as often as we can, so having an entire day dedicated to this concept is a privilege.
There are so many women we look to for guidance and empowerment, from our mothers and sisters to the activists who worked hard to achieve the greater sense of equality we now experience today. No matter where you are in your journey, we have no doubt these inspirational pieces of career advice from today's most successful female founders will give you the boost you need.
"The secret to success is really just hard work and a team that, as we've scaled, has poured hustle and heart into every facet of this company, often behind the scenes. I may be the face of the brand as the founder and CEO, but Bumble's success is equally due to this team, from the customer service reps answering app users' late-night queries to engineers working heads-down to ensure a new feature rolls out smoothly." — Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder of Bumble.
"I do think sleep is very important and I don’t think you should compromise on that. Being nine years into my company, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t sleep. It’s also about learning to say no, and not feeling guilty about what you said no to. At the end of the day, I think the biggest thing is that you cannot feel guilty." — Payal Kadakia, founder of Classpass.
"You should be a constant learning machine. Totally embrace when something doesn't go right. It's not something to be embarrassed about. Most things in life don't work, and if you don't learn from them, how are you ever going to figure out what does work?" — Anne Wojcicki, founder of 23andMe.
“I think a lot of the mistakes I made were not mistakes. Because truthfully, how would I have learned things if things didn’t happen?” — Bobbi Brown, founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.
"Working hard isn’t the only thing you need to do, but it’s absolutely a minimum requirement."— Shan-Lyn Ma, founder of Zola.
"You have to be driven, resourceful, not take no for an answer, and have the nerve to do things that haven’t been done. I think you also have to be comfortable not being everything to everyone, which is something that we often expect of women in a way we don’t of men." — Audrey Gelman, co-founder of The Wing.
"When you’re looking to break into any new industry, the best advice is to ask a lot of questions, identify experts in the space and absorb everything you can." — Meg He and Nina Faulhaber, co-founders of ADAY.
"[You can] make your to-do list less scary by checking off one big thing, three medium-sized things and five small tasks on any given day. Because doing something easy first gives you the confidence to keep going.” — Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, co-founders of The Skimm.
"I learned to push the envelope when it comes to asking questions or making requests. And if you hear 'that's not possible,' then to ask 'what is possible,' instead of just saying thank you and leaving. But also to think creatively about problem solving." — Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier.
"In order for your employees to feel connected to not just your company and customers but to you, as a leader, it is vital to lead with authenticity, vulnerability, and humility through every stage. Bring them with you through your ups and downs, set a culture that accepts failure and celebrates learnings, and empower them to ask questions and share their opinions — creating and maintaining a safe space for employees to be themselves is something only the leader can create." — Meha Agrawal, founder of Silk + Sonder.
"We are the change that we've been looking for so it's on us to go out and create programs to change the world." — Jasmine Crowe, founder of Goodr.
Looking for more inspiration from female founders? That's what our "How I Thrive" series is all about. In case you missed any of them, give them a read here.
How I Thrive: Silk + Sonder Founder Meha Agrawal
How I Thrive: 305 Fitness Founder Sadie Kurzban
How I Thrive: RENTALYA Founder Nisha Balwani
How I Thrive: Pluto Pillow Founder Susana Saeliu
How I Thrive: BOXFOX Founder Sabena Suri
How I Thrive: To Taste Founder Nicole Jackson
How I Thrive: Sun & Swell Foods Founder Kate Flynn
How I Thrive: MYSA Natural Wine Founder Holly Berrigan
What's the best piece of career advice you've ever received? Let us know in the comments. And while you're at it, subscribe to Silk + Sonder today.