Born in the small town of New Palestine, Indiana, Ahrendts had five siblings and a family home so crowded that she’d go to the cupboard under the stairs for a little peace. The day after she graduated college, she moved to New York, joining Donna Karan and later becoming president. She also served as executive VP of Liz Claiborne Inc., which owned Juicy Couture. Eventually, she was recruited as CEO of Burberry, where she’s credited with righting the deteriorating brand.
She’s the first and only woman on Apple CEO Tim Cook’s executive team. Her “new” Apple store makeover celebrates artistic uses of machines rather than just the computers themselves.
“You’re going to see relationships with technology across anything that’s a brand. I don’t care if that’s in home or what you wear. I just think it’s a new fact of life.”
“I am the third out of six children, and I am raised with very strong core values and a very strong upbringing. I always put myself in other people’s shoes.”
“Wherever I’ve worked, I’ve just always tried to do my best, achieve my best, build a great team around me.”
“Remember, the universal language is not texted, emailed, or spoken. It is felt.”
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The daughter of two math teachers, Russakovsky was born in Ukraine and grew up in Palo Alto, California. She attended a Stanford math camp in high school, inspiring her to start the SAILORS summer camp later in her career. Russakovsky studied mathematics as a Stanford undergrad, and also earned her PhD in computer science at Stanford under Professor Fei-Fei Li. She pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Carnegie Mellon before receiving a post as Princeton Professor.
She’s frequently talked about her own doubts and experiences being a woman in the mathematical world, along with her emphasis on mental health.
“Reach out and find mentors! Don’t isolate yourself. Make friends and find a variety of mentors. Not only female mentors. Having a diverse peer support group in your field and diverse mentors really helps when you’re struggling with something.”
“Start small, make sure it’s done right and that it will make an impact; then scale up from there. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
“It’s very clear we have diversity problems in AI. If you look around the room at any conference or event, you notice there are minority groups who are missing.”
“Just because you don’t want to be in a group of people who are all different from you where you stick out, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not interested in math and science.”
her personal website
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