This week, Enterprising Women Magazine celebrates its annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards in South Florida to honor the world’s most boundary pushing women executives in global business, and our own founder and CEO Lorraine D’Alessio is included in this year’s class! To celebrate this year’s inductees and the incredible strides they’ve made in the last year, we took a look at a few award winners who exemplify excellence in global business, and strive towards more equal representation in their fields.
Jill Gwaltney – Rauxa, CEO and Founder
Enterprising Women of the Year Award winner Jill Gwaltney is the founder and CEO of Rauxa (pronounced rocks-uh), a full-service independent advertising agency that incorporates data-driven tech and content to deliver results to successful name-brand clients around the world. Rauxa is the largest women-owned advertising agency in the United States, and boasts an impressive client roster of widely respected and massively successful companies and organizations including Gap Inc., TGI Fridays, Verizon, Alaska Airlines, and Oakley to only name a few.
A Stanford University Graduate and former President of family direct mail printing business FEC, Gwaltney has grown the independent company from $5 million to $46 million in revenue, and maintains a hands-on approach to her company’s work alongside hundreds of employees in offices across the U.S.
Gwaltney’s drive and dedication in inspiring and supporting women across industries is an aspect of her work that she sees as crucial to long-term growth. Gwaltney herself sees dedicated in-house mentorship programs as a great way to support and inspire future talent in the advertising industry.
In an article for Campaign Live dedicated to Women’s History Month, Gwaltney offered resounding advice to others within the industry: be bold, be vulnerable, and prioritize empathy in business and in the workplace.
Gina Diez Barroso – Grupo Diarq, CEO and Founder
Grupo Diarq is a preeminent Mexico City-based firm and holding company for eight subsidiaries that has helmed incredible productions and work within real estate development, education, entertainment, publishing and more since 1990. The company employs over 1,000 people and is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious real estate development and design firms in Latin America, with over 850 residential hospitality projects to date.
At the heart of Grupo Diarq is founder and CEO Gina Diez Barroso, a pioneer in arts and education who has overseen the company’s many successes since 1990. In 2004, Mrs. Diez Barroso founded Mexico City’s first creative studies university CENTRO, and in 1992 she founded Fundacion Diarq, a non-profit organization that works towards ending domestic violence and preventing bullying in schools. In 2004, Mrs. Diez Barroso also established Fundacion Pro-Educacion Centro, another non-profit organization that grants merit-based scholarships to creative studies students.
Mrs. Diez Barroso additionally serves on numerous international boards, including two Mexican groups within C200, the prominent women’s executive leadership organization. She also represents Mexico in W20, the women’s initiative organized by the G20 economic forum. Mr. Diez Barroso’s longstanding work in real estate, design, and education, paired with her philanthropic endeavors, positions her as a highly admirable and inspiring women entrepreneur to follow in 2018.
Ranjini Poddar – Artech Information Systems LLC, CEO and Co-Founder
For the past 26 years Artech Information Systems LLC has served as the #1 largest women-owned IT and staffing company in the United States, and is regarded as the go-to employer of choice for over 7,200 consultants. The company recruits world class IT, engineering, and other professional talent for over 70 Global 500 companies across the U.S., India, and China, and is one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S.
At the center of Artech Information Systems is CEO and co-founder Ranjini Poddar, a distinguished entrepreneur praised by Forbes Magazine as leading one of the fastest-growing women-led businesses in the U.S. “As I took the reins of Artech, I came across a very common problem: being a woman and minority while trying to manage a small business,” says Poddar.
“I realized I had to get creative and innovative in differentiating Artech from the larger conglomerates. I had to set overreaching goals not only for myself, but for all of Artech, become more financially cost-efficient, be extremely careful with cash flow to determine reinvestments, and hire the right people at the right time.”
A Yale Law graduate and a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council honoree, Poddar has actively shattered the glass ceiling through her work, and has made all the difference for other women owned businesses in corporate business.