Women At The Helm 2013

Today, business owners incorporate their beliefs in fairness and equality into their work. Nonprofit directors combine their passion for social justice with managerial prowess. Meet the new wave of out leaders who talk the talk and walk the walk.

JESSICA GONZALEZ

Founder and CEO, InCharged

As a student in advertising design, Jessica Gonzalez became increasingly annoyed with a grievance nearly all of us have faced—her phone was constantly dying. “I was always scouring the halls for an electric outlet to plug in my phone. Then one day that ‘Ah-ha!’ moment came: Why can’t a company sponsor a charging station where I can charge my phone and watch a short ad for the service?” Despite having no engineering background, Gonzalez pursued the idea. She built a cellphone charging station with her bare hands, tested it and sold it before she even had a working unit. Immediately, she moved back home with her parents and took on two jobs to completely self-fund her new technological endeavor. Now, InCharged is set to hit $1,000,000 in revenue in its first year of operations, and holds the potential to become part of the infrastructure of our daily lives, on par with ATMs, GPS systems, smartphones and other once-novel technologies. Gonzalez advises other tech innovators and creative artists in communications to take it one day (and one order) at a time: “You don’t need to have a 50-page business plan and for everything to be perfect. Try to execute the idea and test it out, spending as little money as possible, and if it works, you can grow from there!”