The inspiring women inspiring women 

When UNSW Founders New Wave program sent out application results this week, we asked the Cohort 6 (starting 31 August) successful candidates which women inspired them most. Here’s who they nominated:

  • Jacinda Ardern, The Prime Minister of New Zealand. 

  • Cathy O'Neil, an American mathematician and the author of the blog and several books on data science, including Weapons of Math Destruction. 

  • Sarah Blakely, an American businesswoman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist; founder of Spanx, an American intimate apparel company with pants and leggings. 

  • Dr Shawna Pandya, a physician, citizen-Scientist astronaut and aquanaut, and martial artist. 

  • Lin Huiyin, a Chinese architect and architectural historian who is known to be the first female architect in modern China. 

  • Melinda Gates, an American philanthropist and a former general manager at Microsoft. In 2000, she co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband Bill Gates, the world's largest private charitable organization as of 2015. 

  • Aileen Moreton-Robinson, an Australian academic, indigenous feminist, author and activist for indigenous rights. 

  • Josephine Baker, an American-born French entertainer, French Resistance agent, and civil rights activist.  

  • Ada Lovelace, an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for the mother of computer programming. 

  • Jennifer Doudna, an American biochemist and a leading figure in what is referred to as the "CRISPR revolution" for her fundamental work and leadership in developing CRISPR-mediated genome editing. 

  • Kamala Harris, an American politician and lawyer who has served as the junior United States senator from California since 2017 and has just become the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in the 2020 election. 

  • Stefanie Sword-Williams, the founder of platform and event series F*ck Being Humble, having refined her method of imparting self-worth and self-promotion skills. 

  • Michelle Obama, an American attorney and author who was the first African American first lady of the United States married to the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. 

  • Taylor Swift, one of the most successful singer-songwriters, who spoke out about her sexual assault trial and her struggles with having an eating disorder 


The inspiration did not stop there. We had several women who drew inspiration from their mum (bless). Honestly, even without the current shakeup to modern-day parenting, we salute the mums who have raised the incredible women of New Wave Cohort 6 – wonderfully diverse women of many backgrounds,  from right across the university, ready to unleash their inner entrepreneur.