The Internet Is Roasting Forbes For Including One Woman On Its 'Most Innovative Leaders' List

by Madison Vanderberg

Forbes published a “Most Innovative Leaders” list and 99 of the one hundred people on the list are men

Earlier this week, Forbes dropped its list of “America’s Most Innovative Leaders.” The 100-person list includes your usual tech tycoons like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, plus a bunch of innovative leaders the general public has probably never heard of like, Stanley Bergman the CEO of the healthcare and dental product company Henry Schein and Tarek Sherif, the CEO of Medidata Solutions, Inc. However, that 100 person list of “leaders” only includes one woman, because #ThePatriarchy.

Forbes aggregated 99 random CEOs and founders and could only seem to find one woman to include on the list: Barbara Rentler, the CEO of Ross Stores and number 75 on their supposedly illustrious list. To make things worse, they didn’t even include a photo of Rentler! They just inserted a stock image of a man’s silhouette. If you google “Barbara Rentler Ross,” the first thing that shows up is a photo of her face, so it’s weird that Forbes couldn’t extend the energy to do that.

The list was created by business school professors Jeff Dyer and Nathan Furr and consultant Curtis Lefrandt. According to Forbes, all leaders on the list must be founders or CEOS of U.S. firms with greater than $10 billion market value and the leaders most possess a “media reputation for innovation, social connections, track record for value creation and investor expectations for value creation.”

Unfortunately for Forbes, they could have remedied the sexist list by, oh I dunno, speaking with any woman on the existing biases against women in business, the pipeline problems to upper management, and the general boy’s club of Silcon Valley. Perhaps, they could have changed their methodology to address the barriers to entry that women CEOs commonly face, but whatever, I guess I don’t work at Forbes.

Currently, the internet is having a field day with this embarassing “list.”

“On Forbes’s list of America’s 100 ‘Most Innovative Leaders,’ there are twice as many men named Stanley as there are women of any name,” Anand Giridharadas, Time editor at large, tweeted.

I feel like that bears repeating. There are two men named Stanley on the list and only one woman.

Some thought that they were reading the “men’s” list and were dismayed to learn that, oh, that’s just the list.

Mehrsa Baradaran, a law professor at UC Irvine, theorized that the original list didn’t include any women and then they scrambled to include Rentler, which might explain why she doesn’t have a photo.

“I’ve been thinking about how it was possible for Forbes to have one woman on the list of 100! And not even include a picture,” Baradaran wrote on Twitter. “My theory is that they had no women at ALL and then some last minute editor thought to add one–so they picked #75, added a woman’s name, didn’t even bother screenshooting a wikipedia pic (even though they had pics of all the men).”

Hey, Forbes. Do better.