This year we are excited to award our first ever list of women leaders making a difference at work. We took nominations from our readers and combed through hundreds of profiles and sites to create our list of the top 20. We originally planned to limit this to only 15, but there are just too many Classy Career Girls out there! Thank you all for your nominations.
Our goal was to assemble a comprehensive list of women who you may not have heard of before. This is not a celebrity list because you can find those millions of other places online. Instead, this is a list of women who work, just like you and I, who are hustling every single day to make their dream careers, businesses, and lives happen.
We wanted to clear the clutter of “not so classy” that we see too much of and deliver you the REAL classy and ambitious ladies who are driving change, inspiring others and making the world a better place. The more we know that other women are making the impossible possible, the more empowered we will be that we can do the same. What we have learned time and time again is that when women support other women, incredible things happen.
What we looked for:
Women who meet the definition of a Classy Career Girl:
A female displaying elegance, style, high standards of personal behavior, skill and grace.
These Classy Career Girls are leaders and making a difference whether it is working for a company OR owning their own business. They can be ANY age and live anywhere in the world.
Get ready to be inspired! Here are the top 20 Classy Career Girls of 2015 (in alphabetical order):
Role: Jewelry Buyer for HSN, Popular Style Blogger, President of the Junior League of St. Petersburg
Website: Girl Meets Bow
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Gentry balances her job, blogging, and community service positions with amazing poise and grace. She is always willing to jump in and help out and was recently promoted at HSN. She has taken on responsibilities that most women don’t even dream of, even though she is still young. She has a passion for helping women create outfits on a budget and make getting dressed less scary. She is the epitome of a Classy Career Girl and inspirational to those she works with.
Role: Confidence Coach at Live Love Work and writer of fashion blog, Beautiful Are We.
Website: Beautiful Are We, Live Love Work and Chrysta’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Chrysta coaches women to become more confident so they can recognize and communicate their value and improve their work-life balance. Her mission in life is to help change the way that women see and think about themselves and their situations. Her positive, upbeat nature really helps give people insight into their behaviors in a way that isn’t scary. She half-jokingly calls it being Chrystalized! Chrysta has a unique style, both in business and in fashion. Chrysta is never without accessories, and always looks and acts very put together! Chrysta has been an involved board member for several organizations with chapters in Northern Colorado. She is also a concerned citizen and volunteers in the community.
Role: Coordinator of Public Relations for the Chicago White Sox.
Website: Julianne’s LinkedIn Profile and Julianne’s Website
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Julianne is hard working, driven and goal orientated. She is able to juggle multiple tasks at once without falling apart and gives each task the attention needed. Julianne is considerate and respectful to others, and she is always willing to take on more to help others out, always going above and beyond what is expected of her. Generous with her time, Julianne has volunteered in numerous ways to help others. She has spent time visiting with older people in a nursing home as well as reading with young children in schools. She excels academically, athletically and in her creative skills. In her spare time, she creates jewelry and redesigns clothes, without having any formal training. Julianne faces challenges head on with determination to do her best and help others be their best as well. Julianne is a class career girl because she is a team player who is always looking to see what she can do to help make things better for everyone.
Role: Co-owner and Head Brewer of Council Brewing Co. in Kearny Mesa (San Diego, CA)
Website: Council Brewery
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: In the craft beer industry, high standards of personal behavior and skill are a must and that is exactly what Liz has. She and her husband hit their two-year goals within the first six months of opening their brewery. With this incredible growth, Liz is constantly being interviewed and receiving press and media and she is always very graceful and elegant in her presentations of her successes. Liz puts everything into her work and passion to create something that other people can enjoy and instill a sense of community. She also gives back to her community by being a Sign Language Interpreter every Sunday at church.
Role: Consultant in the Customer Experience practice at West Monroe Partners
Website: Nicole’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Whether Nicole is going to a meeting, an office party, a class on campus, or simply meeting a friend for coffee, she always seems to look put together and professional. Her professionalism shines well beyond her attire. The moment you meet her you know her compassion is genuine, her ambitions are high, her work ethic is solid, and she is the one you can trust to get things done. Even before Nicole began her professional career, she was a Classy Career Girl in training at Purdue. While earning her BS in Management, Nicole demonstrated leadership in roles including the Executive Director of Doster Leadership Conference and Senator for the Krannert School of Business.
Kristy Harris Bias
Role: Director of Investor Relations at Dell
Website: Kristy’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Kristy is a prime example of a classy career girl. Not only is she a loyal and caring friend, but she is also an ambitious, intelligent, high achiever and does it all with style, class, and grace. She is very cultured and has traveled the globe for both business and pleasure. Her drive to constantly learn and not be afraid to share her knowledge with others is admirable. She has been active in community and volunteer organizations and believes in giving back. She has led STEM recruiting efforts and often coaches others on ways to reach their full corporate career potential. She can be counted on by those she works with as a nonjudgmental confidant and someone who can keep others motivated.
Role: Founder of Best Kept Self, Co-Owner of The Studio for Image Professionals and Creator of the YES Diet
Website: Best Kept Self
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Shauna is passionate about helping women entrepreneurs take care of themselves. Through her own struggles she learned how incredibly important it is to put yourself first to be successful and have good relationships. She created a website and brand to help women going through the same thing. Best Kept Self, self-help for the self-employed helps entrepreneurs regain energy through their health, become more authentic in the way they look, and live a more abundant life by cultivating mindfulness. Shauna is the perfect Classy Career Girl role model. She continues to inspire, mentor and teach those she works with year after year and supports so many others to be their absolute best.
Role: Lead Business Analyst for UPMC Health Plan and Vice President of the Parent Teacher Organization
Website: Kate’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Kate leads by example and always recognizes her colleagues for their achievements and contributions to the team. Kate displays elegance and grace in every aspect of her life and inspires others to succeed by taking personal ownership of their work. Her unequivocal ability to balance her career and family are in inspiration to her three children, and serves as a strong, positive role model for all Classy Career Girls. Kate is a leader in her career and personal life, as exemplified by her role as the Vice President of the Parent Teacher Organization and the countless hours of volunteer work she contributes to two local schools. Kate consistently operates with honesty and integrity in every facet of her career and personal life. She sets and maintains the highest standards of excellence and continuously strives to better herself and those around her. Even with the highest standards, Kate persistently seeks professional growth and improvement. Her focus, determination, and ambition are contagious, and have helped her to succeed in regards to her education, career, and personal life.
Role: Senior Media Specialist at Merkle
Website: Rachel’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Those who know Rachel say that she is the most hardworking and ambitious woman they know! She writes down her goals and achieves them. She has style and grace in the workplace and outside of the workplace. Along with her ambitions she is very smart and is full of innovative ideas for advertising and marketing, not to mention she has a one of a kind personality!
Role: Assistant Director of Career Management at University of Pittsburgh – Graduate School of Business
Website: This is Her Movement and Kyshira’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Kyshira is a Classy Career Girl because of her passion for helping professionals build the careers and brands that they aspire to. She strives to equip others with the tools and strategies needed to navigate their career. Her professional background stems from human resources within the financial services industry. Her experience in corporate America prepared her to teach others how to resourcefully make their way through the career jungle gym. Additionally, she is passionate about community service and holds multiple nonprofit board positions throughout the city of Pittsburgh which allows her to have a positive impact on her surrounding community.
Role: Founder of Tin Tin Designs
Website: Tin Tin Designs
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Christine exhibits class, creativity, and exceptional design through her own company, Tin Tin Designs. Her work includes both residential and commercial Interior Architecture Design, and her work truly does speak for itself! She has many clients that would highly recommend her for any design projects anyone is thinking of doing. Christine also has her other company Tin Tin Fitness in which she promotes a very healthy life style through promoting healthy diets proper exercise all with a very positive happy outlook on life which Christine lives to the fullest every day! Her positive can-do-attitude and radiant smile inspire others to follow her lead to pursue their own dreams and goals!
Role: Promotions Manager, Knitting Group @ F+W Media, Inc.
Website: Threadpanda.com and Amy’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Amy is intelligent, creative, and motivated, all with an awesome sense of personal style! Outside her job she creates her own knitting patterns, writes a knitting blog, knits gorgeous wearables, and volunteers to support community literacy.
Role: Founder and CEO of Mogul
Website: Mogul, Tiffany’s LinkedIn Profile, and Facebook page
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Tiffany has built a platform that empowers millions of women around the world to connect, share knowledge and explore opportunities together. To stand against the fact that 62 million girls do not have access to education, Mogul gives back to the community; for every student who registers for a Mogul Course they give a set of courses away to a girl in need. Despite being recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media, having graduated from both Yale and Harvard Business School, and having tremendous success with Mogul, she has been nothing by humble about her achievements. Always encouraging to give back and reciprocate kindness wherever she goes, Tiffany embodies attributes that make her just as much of an amazing friend as a leading CEO. Her signature look is a navy blue dress, pearl earrings, low black heels, and red lipstick.
Role: Tax specialist at PwC and Founder of My Pennies, My Thoughts, a personal finance website for millennials
Website: My Pennies, My Thoughts and JanineRogan.com and Janine’s Linkedin Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Janine is currently completing her CPA designation and balances her work (which is never just 9-5), assignments/exams, networking, and her website. Janine is always searching for new opportunities to grow her website and advance her career. She wants to help millennials succeed. She is a woman in a male-dominated industry, which can sometimes be tough but she loves being involved in organizations that empower women to climb the corporate ladder, be in charge of their finances and make a difference.
Role: Global Partner Marketing Specialist at Cisco and Founder of LaurenLivesHealthy.com
Website: Lauren Lives Healthy and Lauren’s Linkedin Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Lauren is constantly striving for the best. She is her own worst critic, but uses that to motivate and push herself to greatness. She has excelled at her career and inspires thousands of other people to be their best. When she’s not hard at work at Cisco, she’s hard at work running her personal healthy living blog. From recipes to triathlons, to general advice from her experiences, Lauren is always keeping herself busy with one goal in mind: to make an impact on other people’s lives. She is by far and away a classy career girl and a role model to all of her followers.
Role: Associate Director of Quality Assurance at Ashford University
Website: Aimee’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Aimee is an incredible servant leader and continuously challenges those around her to stretch their definition of achievement, think outside-the-box, and put themselves in situations that will contribute to growth. Aimee expects greatness out of people, but also takes the time to provide an environment of support and collaboration that nurtures those lofty goals. Aimee encourages people to go beyond what is expected and reach for strategies and goals that have not yet been considered. She is a forward-thinker, and a visionary who thinks in terms of “Where are we going?” instead of “Where have we been?” Aimee is the model of servant leadership and deserves recognition.
Role: Registered Private Wealth Associate at Merrill Lynch Private Banking & Investment Group
Website: Lauren’s LinkedIn profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Lauren is the essence of a Classy Career Girl. She shows grace under pressure, has business savvy like none other and she carries herself with a calm confidence that lets you know she has command of her field. She develops close relationships with the clients she serves, anticipating their needs and providing them with the warm and personalized interaction that is a hallmark of her approach.
Role: Membership Officer at the Museum of Photographic Arts, Volunteer with Junior League of San Diego and with Rising Arts Leaders San Diego
Website: Angela’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Angela embodies the characteristics of a Classy Career Girl because of her professional and volunteer efforts to make art accessible to anyone and everyone. Spending the past year creating an affordable membership model focusing on personalized interests has made a splash in the museum, art, and fundraising industries. To further the love of her profession, she also volunteers extensively with Junior League of San Diego and with Rising Arts Leaders San Diego on enhancing arts administrators and making San Diego the best arts community it can be. Sharing leadership skills and providing professional development opportunities is close to her heart!
Role: Engineer, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Best Selling Author, Project Management Professional (PMP) and John Maxwell Certified Coach and Instructor
Website: Tameka’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Tameka is a confident and highly driven Classy Career Girl. She is an excellent communicator and commands respect and attention. Her desire to educate and help the youth is admirable by those around her. She has an amazing ability to make herself visible and to share her talents with class and grace.
Role: Owner and Social Media Manager and Consultant at Elephant Social and Operator and Family/Wedding Photographer at DoubleTake Productions
Website: Elephant Social and Erin’s LinkedIn Profile
What makes her a Classy Career Girl: Upon amicably leaving her corporate position a couple of months ago, she knew it was time to soar higher. According to her former coworkers, the office just isn’t the same without her personality, professionalism, fun high-heels, and honesty. Now, she takes pride in the work that she does and that she hunts for a challenge daily while helping other female entrepreneurs conquer the world. She creates and maintains relationships with poise and continued honesty and dedication to her work. She works as if the sky really IS the limit and still wears heels even when working from home.
We hope you found our 2015 list as inspiring as we did. But tell us, did we miss someone? Share in the comments below as we are always on the hunt for Classy Career Girls making a difference!
- Coffee Chat and Q&A with Anna - October 26, 2020
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- CLASS Member Spotlight: Ashley Clayton - October 12, 2020