Ensuring women hold leadership positions—in business, politics, and the community—is so important to a thriving society that the United Nations (UN) has made it a focus under its goal of achieving gender parity and empowering all women and girls.
“Women’s equal representation in leadership matters—not only for achieving gender equality, but for making sound decisions in politics, the workplace, and every area of public life,” noted the United Nations when outlining this goal as part of its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted eight years ago by all UN member states.
The UN report also points out that women hold just 28 percent of managerial positions. McKinsey & Company, a management and consulting firm, drives home the disparity in its Women in the Workplace 2022 report, pointing out that only 87 women (and 82 women of color) are promoted from entry-level to managerial positions for every 100 men.
The UN emphasizes that a lack of female leadership often means gaps in planning and decision-making. Because of the gender headwinds female business leaders themselves may have faced, they tend to be highly attuned to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Even with historic challenges in gender parity, remarkable female leaders have burst into leadership positions in every business sector in the United States and continue to fill a pipeline of talent. In Diversity Woman’s third annual Power 100, we found 100 emerging, rising leaders in technology, transportation, finance, retail, and medicine who not only have visionary ideas for their organizations but also want to make them more multiracial, gender diverse, and equitable.
These 100 are just a small sampling of the multitudes of women on the rise who are making their mark in their companies and also in Corporate America. With their talent, innovation, leadership, and perspective, they are changing minds by challenging preconceived notions of how a company can be both equitable and highly profitable.
Chief of Staff, Versana
Now chief of staff at industry-backed fintech Versana, Blankinship joined the company in March 2022 as director of marketing and talent to spearhead these initiatives and cultivate company culture. She started her career at JPMorgan Chase & Co. as a salesperson on the structured credit and secondary loan trading desks, covering hedge funds and proprietary trading desks for par and distressed bank loans, high yield and investment grade bonds, credit derivatives, and structured credit instruments. Blankinship then served as a senior relationship manager for evaluated pricing and data license solutions at Bloomberg. Most recently, she founded a creative event planning company serving the New York area.
“Versana is a female-led fintech with women making up 47 percent of the team—a great example of how diversity at the top leads to an inclusive culture throughout the organization. We are committed to closing the gender leadership gap by actively recruiting women, promoting women to leadership positions, and fostering a collaborative culture. At Versana, diverse perspectives are not just welcome but vital to our efforts to transform the syndicated loan market.”