Haley Draznin / CNN
Nasdaq recently signed the Parity Pledge, a commitment to interview at least one qualified woman for every senior executive role. Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman made history last year when she became the first woman to lead a global exchange. "You see so many fewer women in the recruitment pool, so therefore it makes it harder to reach parity," says Friedman. "That's why we've got to get more women to go into finance, to get more women to go into tech, and to take advantage of the education available to them because that will then get them into the industry." Part of the solution is "recruiting the right people."
"The smartest brands understand that athletes actually become more dimensional, relatable, and influential as moms -- and that they can leverage that for their own marketing campaigns," said Lindsay Kagawa Colas, a talent agent for Wasserman who focuses on Olympics and women. But fear of losing sponsors still remains for many female athletes. "There's so much risk involved with our jobs that I think it's just an automatic assumption that if you get pregnant you're not going to do what you do anymore," professional snowboarder Kimmy Fasani told CNN.
Haley DrazninPoppy Harlow / CNN
Smith calls former Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan her biggest professional champion. Ryan hired Smith at the Bills. But he couldn't turn around the team's long-running playoff drought quickly enough and was dismissed. Smith left soon afterward. Smith also received encouragement from one of the team's owners, Kim Pegula, who texted her when it was announced that she'd become a full-time coach. "Don't let it be about being a female," Pegula's text read. "Do the best job you can. Show them through doing a great job that you deserve to be in this spot."
Haley Draznin / CNN Money
As one of few women in an executive role at The Honest Company, the actress turned entrepreneur admits "it's tough when you're the only woman in the room." She's working to empower more women so they, too, can get a seat at the table, she tells CNN's Poppy Harlow in a new podcast episode of Boss Files. Women make up 65% of The Honest Company's 400 employees. However, only three of nine executives there are female, including Alba. "I just felt so alone," says Alba, reflecting on being one of the only women in a leadership role during her early days at the company.