Six members who are female titans of innovation

Women’s Equality Day, August 26, commemorates the 1920 ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which legally guarantees American women the right to vote.

Accomplishing this milestone took decades of collective protest. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848, sparking the suffrage movement. More than a century later, in his 1973 Women’s Equality Day proclamation, President Nixon remarked the ballot was the first step toward full, equal participation of women in American society, noting the US was “paving new avenues to equal economic opportunity for women.” 

Today, more women vote in US elections than men, and the Center for American Progress estimates women add more than $7.6 trillion to the nation’s GDP.

Globally, factoring in $10.9 trillion of unpaid work contributed by women, females produce around 60 percent of the world’s goods and services; closing the gender pay gap would boost the economy by $7 trillion.

Here, we celebrate six female founders, CEOs, and executives redefining industries from CANOPY coworking spaces.

Headshot of Caroline Barlerin

Caroline Barlerin

Founder and CEO, Platypus Advisors

Before founding social innovation firm Platypus Advisors, Caroline Barlerin launched the neighborhood learning center NeighborNest as Twitter’s Head of Philanthropy and Community Outreach. She built HP’s “Matter to a Million” game-changing partnership with Kiva, which subsequently made over $20m of loans to more than 350,000 people.

As CEO of Platypus Advisors, Caroline partners with companies at any growth stage, including Google, okta, Uber, Splunk, Cruise, and Sephora, to implement cross-sector social initiatives that accelerate real-world impact. Caroline also sits on the Board of the Global Fund for Women, which does crucial work around the intersection of climate and women’s rights.

“Where planet and people come together is one of the intersections I think about most. Tech has a critical role in sustainability and harnessing the power of innovation to help solve problems humans are causing in the short, middle, and long term. We must do this work in conversation with those impacted the most.”

Read Caroline’s full profile here.

Follow Caroline on X (formerly Twitter) @CBarlerin; Instagram @cbarlerin.

Headshot of Shally Shanker

Shally Shanker, CFA

Founder and managing partner of AiiM Partners

Bay Area-based AiiM Partners—a team comprising investors, operators, scientists, and serial entrepreneurs—invests in global technology companies that address climate change, driving real-world impact in climate sectors while prioritizing equity and access. Founder and managing partner Shally Shanker, CFA, has over 20 years of investment management experience working with global companies. She also mentors female founders and CEOs–more than half of AiiM’s portfolio companies are led by women and people of color.

AiiM-invested companies produce alternative materials, replace scarce minerals and plastics in our supply chain, reduce GHG emissions, and create quality manufacturing jobs in LMI communities to drive real, quantifiable impact. Wildtype is scaling the production of alternative sushi-grade seafood products without microplastics and toxins while helping ocean health and biodiversity. Materials X is making materials that can address the growing use of rare earth minerals in batteries, for instance, to replace cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and which is expected to face a supply shortage in the next couple of years, potentially hindering the transition toward EVs.

Read Shally’s full profile here.

Follow AiiM Partners on Twitter @AiimPartners, and on Linkedin.

Headshot of Kaitlin Browman

Kaitlin Browman

Chief Operating Officer, Science for America (SfA)

Solutions incubator Science for America (SfA), established in May 2022, has received $30 million in donations to address five urgent challenges: the climate and energy crisis; medicine and public health; STEM equity and education; leadership and responsibility in critical technologies; and new models to support research and innovation. In May 2023, SfA’s first white paper, “New Opportunities for Fusion Power,” lays out approaches for fusion power with the potential to speed progress, decrease cost, and simplify engineering challenges.

Kaitlin, who holds a Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience and has over 20 years of experience in scientific research, strategic operations, and senior administration, supports all SfA pillars equally but is most passionate about STEM. She cites a need for raising awareness and creating opportunities in that space and notes many advocates have found it hard to gain traction, including some of SfA’s donors; she believes this is one area the team can be successful and make a difference.

Read Kaitlin’s profile here. Follow Kaitlin on Linkedin.

Headshot of Sabeen Shaikh

Sabeen Shaikh

Managing Director, Crescent Strategy Consulting

Sabeen Shaikh has nearly two decades of experience within corporate and innovation roles in the healthcare industry, offering executive leadership for multinationals, start-ups, investment firms and governments seeking to commercialize new technologies and develop effective go-to-market strategies. Sabeen, an Ohio native, recently relocated from Australia to San Francisco and chose CANOPY coworking space as the base of operations for her diverse roles: board director, speaker, investor, and managing director of Crescent Strategy Consulting, a global boutique consulting firm which specializes in corporate and commercial strategy guidance for medtech companies and heathtech funds.

Sabeen is passionate about healthcare and access to new technologies, offering her skills as an Executive-in-Residence to growth-stage health technology start-ups. She advocates on frugal and reverse innovations and works pro bono to help broker deals with multinationals seeking to enter developing markets, making sure the right healthcare innovations–those offering sustainability and scalability–are brought to the table.

Read Sabeen’s full profile here.

Follow Sabeen on Linkedin.

Headshot of Jennifer Nuckles

Jennifer Nuckles

Chief Executive Officer and the Chair of the company’s Board of Directors, R-Zero

Jennifer delivered inflective, long-term business growth at Clorox, Zynga, and SoFi before joining R-Zero, a healthy buildings company that combines ultraviolet light and data to improve indoor health, as CEO last year.

R-Zero’s four devices disinfect the air and surfaces indoors within seconds in environments ranging from entire hospitals and public venues to 100-foot spaces. Netflix, Stanford Children’s Health, the 49ers, and CANOPY are already customers. Jennifer believes Far UV technology will be as commonplace as mains electricity and a clean water supply within the next decade, providing sustainable, cost-effective solutions for protecting human capital and the environment for future generations.

Jennifer’s greatest source of inspiration is her three daughters. They’ve never known their mother not to work; Jennifer appreciates that, as young females, they see that a woman can be a successful entrepreneur and executive while having a family and rich personal life.

Read Jennifer’s full profile here

Follow R-zero on Linkedin @rzerosystems and Twitter @rzerosystems

Image of Nosheen

Noosheen Hashemi

Founder and CEO of January AI

Noosheen Hashemi is a tech veteran, entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. She is the founder and CEO of January AI, a seed-stage precision health tech company that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to predict, prevent, postpone and manage chronic disease. January AI is Noosheen’s answer to a healthcare industry that seemed to only address decline and disease, rather than prevention and progress; January AI partners with people to understand their bodies and optimize it for health and longevity.  In June 2021 the World Economic Forum honored January AI as a Technology Pioneer. Noosheen also guides a family office that includes diverse investments in over 100 companies and venture capital funds. She is the founder of the HAND Foundation, focused on supporting scholars and organizations that promote discourse and socioeconomic growth among the disenfranchised. She lives in Silicon Valley.

Follow Noosheen on Instagram @noosheenhashemi and January AI on Instagram @hellojanuaryai.