In honor of International Women's Day today, our annual GV Impact List pays tribute to 25 leaders who are changing the face of technology and life sciences. These incredible trailblazers show us that there is light ahead, not just for gender issues in the workplace but also in the areas of disease prevention, human health, sustainable food production, decreased reliance on fossil fuels, and so much more.

For this year's Impact List, we invited our founders and CEOs to nominate a woman or non-binary team member making a difference to their company's culture, innovation, and growth. We received a flood of deeply impressive submissions — twice as many as last year — from across our 300+ portfolio companies. Our committee carefully reviewed each nomination, and voted to select these top 25 powerhouses, all remarkable for the ways they inspire colleagues, foster business growth, push boundaries with integrity, and make meaningful contributions to shape the future.

Scientists make up nearly half of our list this year — not a surprise, given that life sciences companies comprise more than a third of our overall portfolio. Many of these researchers lead teams to develop medicines and treatments for disease. Others are advancing computational techniques to transform the way drugs are discovered, exploring gene therapy treatments for cardiac patients, and breaking new ground in cell therapy manufacturing. One is driving for better access to women's healthcare. And another used her biomedical research expertise to manage a study which found that O blood type may be protective against COVID-19.

Against the backdrop of a grim pandemic year, more than half of the Impact List honorees have devoted their professional energies and focus toward social good. A security expert helped states shore up their defenses ahead of the 2020 elections. A Google alum is working to transition homeowners off of heating fuels to emissions-free geothermal energy. Those who have been leaders in their respective industries for decades are advocating for serious change: one financial services executive is on a mission to lift people out of poverty, and a pharmaceutical industry veteran works every day to bring down the price of prescription drugs.

We were particularly excited to learn about the ways our Impact List leaders pushed for advances in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many have been instrumental in their companies' DEI councils. Others are tackling broader inclusion issues, working to bring more diversity across the semiconductor industry and the open source community.

When we asked our honorees to share their advice for those coming up the ranks, they repeatedly referenced the importance of pushing outside the comfort zone to take calculated risks: "Get uncomfortable;" "Don't stay in your lane;" "Advocate for yourself, and empower others along the way." Others emphasized the importance of voicing opinions fearlessly, and refusing to let other people's egos limit your own success. The most experienced leaders on the list also pointed out that it's ok not to have all the answers all the time: "Being vulnerable, acknowledging what you don't know, and accepting help from those around you will ultimately make you smarter and stronger."

We are so proud to celebrate these changemakers, and their work gives us inspiration and optimism for the future.

Congratulations to the entire Impact List 2021. Keep pushing hard — the world needs you.