Random House Delacorte | October 2019
Girls Who Run the World is How I Built This for tween and teen girls, featuring the entrepreneurs behind the companies they love — Rent the Runway, Stitch Fix, Pop Sugar, Glossier, Minted, etc. These are the sometimes messy, always brave, inside stories of the entrepreneurs fighting bias in hiring at Blendoor, sequencing genes at 23andMe and saving premie babies at Embrace. Stuffed with wisdom, trade secrets and how-to’s, this is pure inspiration for enterprising young gals.
“Girls Who Run the World is a woman-to-woman playbook that spotlights bold businesswomen who have achieved success and done it in their own way.”
— Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.
“Girls Who Run the World is a modern-day encyclopedia of the women who are changing the world today, period.”
— Sophia Amoruso, cofounder and CEO of Girlboss, a media company dedicated to empowering women in business, and author of the New York Times bestseller #Girlboss
“The startup community needs more female and underrepresented founders. Diana Kapp’s book is sure to inspire future female founders from all backgrounds to start companies that will change the world.”
— Sam Altman, Chairman, Y-Combinator, and President Open AI. Y Combinator has backed 4,000 founders to date creating over 100B in value, including the team behind Lumi and PlanGrid (in book), Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, Stripe.
“Just reading these stories will give you a confidence boost!”
— Claire Shipman, author of NYT bestseller The Confidence Code for Girls.
“This book is a joyful testament to the power of girls, the power of immigrants, and the unlimited potential for young people everywhere to dream boldly.”
— Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and CEO of Emerson Collective and Co-founder of College Track.
“All girls should dare to dream big, and Girls Who Run the World gives them the tools to not only achieve those dreams, but to change the world while they’re doing it.”
— Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global.
“The book allows us to imagine success by seeing the Girl CEOs accomplish it.”
— Gitanjali Rao, age 14, inspired by the Flint water crisis invented an inexpensive device to detect lead in water for which she is 2017 winner of Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
My daughter Emma is fourteen. She came out of the womb with her hands (basically) on her hips, ready to issue orders. First she directed her dolls, and then a roster of family members all forced to play school, where, of course, she was always the teacher. Her gift wish for her fifth birthday was a giant whiteboard where she’s perpetually making to-do lists. Then, check, check, check, she gets it all done. I’ve always believed she would run a big corporation.
But will she? There are still so few women at the top. Did you know there are more CEOs named Jeffrey leading America’s biggest 250 companies than there are women doing so? A rare two percent of female entrepreneurs ever get their businesses funded.
With this all swirling in my brain, I was walking home one day listening to my fave podcast How I Built This. Sara Blakely, the now-billionaire behind Spanx, was describing cold-calling her way into Neiman Marcus, googling “hosiery mills” one day and the next driving across three states to beg one to produce her prototype. Then she wrote her own patent, following instructions in a book. When Neiman’s shelved her shiny red Spanx boxes in a dusty corner where no one goes, she snuck in a cardboard rack from Target and moved them smack next to the register. She certainly didn’t ask permission. All I could think is Emma HAS to hear this girl.
Not many teen girls do podcasts. So I wrote the backstories of 31 badass female founders, women exhibiting traits in spades that girls typically find hardest: displaying moxie, disregarding the word no, taking risks, failing and not taking it personally. Pretty much everything I need Emma to know is in their narratives.
Back in my tween years, my elementary school held Career Day. I chose sessions on cake decorating and hairdressing. Ambition wasn’t stirring even a little. Something changed, because I made it to Stanford business school in my 20s. But there, the many impressive companies we studied were headed by males. Plus, by that age, I had long internalized the idea that money and power are the domains of men.
The way we change the future?
Raise up a generation of girls who expect to be CEO.