16. STEPHANIE NADI OLSON
Founder & CEO, We Are Rosie
Stephanie Nadi Olson is solving the diversity problem within the advertising industry and bettering the lives of freelancers. As the daughter of a Palestinian refugee, Olson has always been drawn to the unique challenges faced by marginalized or under-represented groups of people. After 13 years in the advertising industry, frustrated by the lack of diversity in the industry and tired of waiting for companies to make meaningful improvement, Olson took matters into her own hands in 2018 and founded We Are Rosie, a marketing firm based in Atlanta, Georgia, with a mission to support extraordinary people while providing a workplace that treats everyone with dignity and access to opportunity.
“Ultimately, the hope is that the system — with more equity and better access — will shift power dynamics so that different types of people have a voice,” Olson says of the role of business in making the world a better place. “This will create a trickle-down effect that will lead to a more humanistic approach to business, wealth creation, and opportunity.”
In its first calendar year of business, We Are Rosie is on track to earn more than $5 million, boasts a client list that includes 20 Fortune 500 firms and nationally recognized brands, has more than 2,700 freelancers across 41 US states, and offers a benefits package to its workers that includes health insurance and retirement accounts.
What’s one key piece of advice you’d give to other women looking to excel as a leader in conscious business?
“There is no difference between you and the people you admire. I spent my entire career thinking people in the C-Suite were superheroes with magical powers I didn’t possess. But the only difference between you and them is they believe they belong there. As Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”