Female Disruptors of the Year

Lisa Buyer
December 30, 2021
Female Disruptors of the Year

Godmother to the metaverse? Sex three times a day at 75-years old? Breaking out of conservatorship jail?

Our female columnists took a look at the top women disrupting in 2021 and why it matters in 2022—introducing Female Disruptor’s top 10 women disrupting in 2021. What makes a female disruptor? Overturning, going against the grain, re-inventing, taking action, standing up for yourself and others, fighting ageism, burnout, self-leadership, the list goes on.

A disruptor is a person who causes a radical change in an existing industry or market using innovation.

We look ahead to women investing in NFTs, dominating the metaverse, declaring freedom, reclaiming assets, embracing age, facing trauma, being a change agent, and showing the world anything is possible.

You had the power all along.

#1 Britney Spears

Britney Spears

Britney Spears is a singer, songwriter, and dancer known as “the princess of pop.” As a true female disruptor, Britney continues to stand up for herself and become a leader to many women and men across the globe.

Best known for in 2021

The #FreeBritney movement generated 1.7 billion views on TikTok and 481k +posts on Instagram. People worldwide were rooting for Britney’s freedom as she underwent conservatorship abuse from her father.

Historical Disruptions

1998- Britney became a childhood star at age 17 after releasing her single, “Baby One More Time.”

The 2000s- She will be remembered for Popstar Britney Spears’s artistry, music, and influence over teens and young adults during her iconic rise to fame.

2021- #FreeBritney Movement. After 13+ years, Britney is finally free, thanks to our justice system and all the collective voices supporting her journey.

"Honestly, my family embarrassed me and hurt me deeply," Spears wrote. "Tooting my own horn and seeing my past accomplishments reflecting at me actually helped.”


Watch The New York Times documentary - Framing Britney Spears -  highlighting the “Free Britney” movement and supporting the pop star’s efforts to get out of a 13-year court-sanctioned conservatorship.

Famous Quotes

“I just want my life back.” In June, Britney Spears told a Los Angeles judge during a rare court appearance.

"We are just people, and I'm not superwoman, but I do know what makes me happy and brings me joy, and I try to meditate on those places and thoughts that enable me to experience it."

"Don't treat me like a little girl."

“It’s Britney B*tch.”

Best place to follow

Instagram- as it becomes a place for Britney’s thoughts and aspirations.

“My goal this year is to push myself a bit more and do things that scare me," she continued. "We are just people, and I'm not superwoman, but I do know what makes me happy and brings me joy, and I try to meditate on those places and thoughts that enable me to experience it." -Britney Spears.

Personal fave

Seeing Brittney in concert in Las Vegas in December 2014.

#2 Cathy Hackl

Cathy hackl

Cathy Hackl, the AKA The Godmother of the Metaverse, is an American futurist, author, speaker, and influencer in virtual and augmented reality worlds.

Best known for in 2021

CNBC 60 Minutes- take a walk through the Metaverse with Chief Metaverse Officer Cathy Hackl.

Top-tier media, including Rolling Stone Magazine, USA Today, Vogue, Venture Beat, GQ, Time Magazine, Bloomberg, and Forbes reporters, all turn to Cathy for the next step in the metaverse.

Historical Disruptions

Named Adweek’s Metaverse Marketing Podcast host, Cathy takes listeners into the future of the metaverse and shows brands how to prepare for tomorrow, today.

Her column in Forbes includes articles such as The Metaverse is coming and 5 Ways Brands can Level Up their NFT Knowledge are a must-read, and she is a must-follow.


“The Augmented WorkForce” - How Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and 5G Will Impact Every Dollar You Make.

Podcast and Newsletter

Famous Quotes

“In a word, NFTs will be the hottest trend happening on the runway in 2022.” - Cathy Hackl

“The idea that we might all be working in the #Metaverse soon seems way more possible after the pandemic.” Cathy Hackl

“The next iteration of the #internet could be a vast, three-dimensional digital frontier that looks a lot like real life.” Cathy Hackl

Best place to follow

LinkedIn- Named one of the top 10 Tech Voices on Linkedin for two years in a row, the highest honor on the platform. (the highest honor on the forum.)

Sign up to see her at the Female Disruptors Virtual Summit, The Female Metaverse: What you need to know and wear.

Personal fave moment

Dinner with Cathy at the Versace mansion on South Beach

#3 Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda is an American actress, political activist, feminist, environmentalist, and former fashion model.

She has won academy awards for ​​Klute (1971) and Coming Home (1978).

Best known for in 2021

Netflix Hit, Grace, and Frankie 7 seasons. The series stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as Grace and Frankie.

Historical Disruptions

Fonda’s 1974 mugshot started a beauty revolution.

OG fit-influencer, shout out to the VHS days in the ’80s! Her 1982 workout routine is still the best exercise class out there

As seen in Vogue. At 84, Jane Fonda Is Still the Very Definition of Beauty Goals.

Join the Fire Drill Fridays Community- Take Action with Jane GreenpeaceUSA & the #FireDrillFriday movement! Learn about the climate crisis.

Recent Movies

Book Club

This Is Where I Leave you

Jane Fonda

Famous Quotes

“​​You don't learn from successes; you don't learn from awards; you don't learn from celebrity; you only learn from wounds and scars and mistakes and failures. And that's the truth.”

“It's never too late - never too late to start over, never too late to be happy.”

“Equal pay is still an issue everywhere. I think it’s a big problem and I think it’s going to be solved. I bet within my lifetime.”

'It took me 30 years to get feminism' - Jane Fonda.

Best place to follow

Instagram- keep up with Jane’s acting careers and day-to-day life.

Personal fave moment

Grace and Frankie Season, Episode 1

#4 Suzanne Somers

Suzanne Somers

Once best known for her TV series Three’s Company, Suzanne Somers is an American actor, businesswoman, singer, and health spokesperson. Today she is iconic for her advocacy role in health, wellness, and self-care. After a cancer diagnosis in 2001, Suzanne made it her mission to encourage, educate and inspire women to take control of their health and happiness  - at any age.

Best known for in 2021

At 75-years-young, Suzanne is showing women and men that age is only a number and the impact of taking charge of your mind, body, and spirit pays off.

"I have to say that since I embraced health, I have never enjoyed life more," Somers explained in an interview published by Fox News.
"I like the way I look. I like the way I feel. I like my energy. I have wisdom. I have perspective, and I can tell you that aging can be incredible if you know how to approach it. It takes a little bit of work. It’s about health; about shifting your thinking and understanding what it is, that’s making us sick and how we can combat it."

Historical Disruptions

From surviving child abuse to offering tips on sustaining a healthy marriage, Suzanne pushes the envelope on all topics. As seen on Fox News, Aging is Amazing!

Suzanne’s thigh master fitness phenomenon became one of the best-selling infomercial products ever, netting more than $100 million in sales. It can still be found on her website and her other products, including skincare, cosmetics, gut health, weight loss, and even fashion.


A New York Times best-selling author, Suzzane has penned more than 25 books over the year. Favorites include Knockout, Ageless; I’m Too Young For This, and Two’s Company. Check out all Suzanne Somers' books on her website.

Famous Quotes

“Our bodies are finely tuned machines, and if our hormone mixtures aren't 'just right', everything goes into disrepair.”

"Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself."

Best place to follow

Instagram! Find out the secret to gut health, age-less skincare routines, and more on Suzanne’s personal life via Instagram where she goes Live multiple times a week with her husband, Alan. He is fondly known as the behind the scenes sidekick/camera guy/storyteller/biggest fan boy!

They are joined by another of our favorite Female Disruptors, Caroline Somers, President of Suzanne Somers' company and specializes in cooking, health, and wellness. Follow her on Instagram here.

Personal fave moment

The dinner party at Suzanne’s personal home in Palm Springs for the book launch of Ageless.

#5 Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is an American singer-songwriter whose musicality covers multiple genres. Her lyrics are inspired by events in her personal life, which contributes highly to fans’ widespread media coverage and praise.

Best known for in 2021

All Too Well - 10-minute version music video portrays the story of her and famous actor Jake Gyllenhaal’s relationship played by Sadie Sink and Dylan O-Brien.

Historical Disruptions

First Album- ‘Taylor Swift’ 2006

First Tour-  Fearless 2008

The famous breakup with Jake Gyllenhaal led to the release of pop hits; We Are Never Getting Back Together, State of Grace, I Almost Do, and All Too Well.

Red (Taylor’s Version) Her album release was a personal accomplishment as her former label owned the masters to her first six albums. Taylor then resigned with a different label, Big Machine Records, bought by Scooter Braun, who Taylor labeled a bully. She took matters into her own hands and decided to re-record her first six albums after falling victim to the music industry’s control.

Music Hits

Let’s be real; all of Taylor’s albums are hits.

Famous Lyrics

Please don't be in love with someone else; please don't have somebody waiting on you!”

“Cause she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts, she's cheer captain, and I'm on the bleachers.”

“He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar.”

“It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes.”

Best place to follow

Instagram- duh! T-swift is all over the gram with updates, fashion, music, and more.

Personal fave moment

Shake it up

#6 Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon is an American actor, businesswoman, entrepreneur, and producer.

Best known for in 2021

Reese Witherspoon was named Hollywood’s richest woman after selling her production company Hello Sunshine. The female-focused media brand intends to change the way “all women are seen in the media” - a company that puts women at the center of every story they create and celebrate.

Historical Disruptions

Reese purchases her first NFT! Female-Led NFT company, “World of Women,” welcomes Reese to the NFT community. As Reese explains, “For all asking, NFTs are just digital goods. Your kids understand this because of Roblox and Minecraft. The sale of digital goods will be more important as we evolve to have more digital access to music, art, and entertainment.


Reese’s Book Club Sip, sip hooray!

Big Little Lies - Reese Witherspoon plays the main character, Madeline Mackenzie, for which she received her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. The HBO mini-series won 19 awards, including best mini-series.

Famous Quotes

“I get crazy in a bookstore. It makes my heart beat hard because I want to buy everything.”

“When you finally accept that you're a complete dork, your life gets easier. No sense in trying to be cool.”

“If you are not yelling at your kids, you are not spending enough time with them.”

Best place to follow

Twitter is where she shares her love for NFTs and World of Women.

Instagram Tap into Reese’s mind and real-life with #RealTalkWithReese!

Personal fave moment

Big Little Lies winning best mini-series and the Morning Show

#7 Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton is an American businesswomen model, singer, DJ, actress, and personality. She is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels, putting her in the social scene at a very young age. She does it all with 19 product lines, over 40 boutiques, and a condominium in Manila, Philippines.

Coined phrases “That’s hot,” “loves it,” and “sliving” are so HOT they have been trademarked for products, beverages, and clothing apparel.

Best known for in 2021

2021 headlines include: ‘Hilton enters the metaverse with new ‘Paris World’ Roblox business.’

From exploring a replica of Hilton’s mansion in Beverly Hills, to driving a luxury sports car, or even strutting across a virtual boardwalk inspired by her wedding, there’s seemingly plenty to do in Paris World.

“For me, the metaverse is somewhere that you can do everything you can do in real life in the digital world,” Hilton explained.

Hilton appeared before Utah State Legislature to testify that more government needs to oversee youth residential treatment centers and require more documentation. Paris was physically and emotionally abused at 17 during her 11-month stay at Provo Canyon School.

Recently married in 2021, sporting three wedding dresses. That’s hot!

Historical Disruptions

In the early 2000’s  -  a leaked sex tape with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon later released as 1 Night in Paris catapulted Paris into celebrity status. Then followed by five seasons of the reality show, It’s a Simple Life, co-starring Nicole Ritchie, reaching more than 13 million viewers.

2014 named the highest-paid DJ.

2020, The release of the documentary This is Paris (2020), Hilton speaks about the abuse she encountered as a child in her boarding school.

2021, Hilton held a press conference to introduce the Accountability for Congregate Care Act to protect children in child-care facilities.

Her fans are known as “Little Hiltons.”


SHOP all Paris Hilton Products

Famous Quotes

“That’s Hot”

“Loves it”

“Sliving” slaying and living.

Best place to follow

Instagram- Loves it!! Follow the gram for all Paris Hiltons beautiful, so- totally- fabulous content!

Personal fave moment

This is Paris and her three wedding dresses

#8 Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle

Holding the titles Duchess of Sussex, American actress, mom, entrepreneur, philanthropist, podcast host, and wife to one of the most royal men in the world, it’s Meghan Markle.

Best known for in 2021

Her tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey revealed her shocking experiences as an unwelcome member of the royal life. Racism, sexism, bullying, and jealously played into Meghan’s mental health issues, with direct hits coming from kings, queens, princes, princesses, and the media. Husband Prince Harry sat right by her side as they both shared the insider secrets of royal suffering and insecurities.

During the couple's shocking interview, Harry said he felt trapped by royal life and was surprised that he was cut off financially and lost his security.

Meghan is biracial and described how when she was pregnant with her son, Archie, there were "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born."

Historical Disruptions

In 2016 Meghan started dating Prince Harry and in 2017 they were engaged. The two were married in 2018 and Meghan gave birth in 2019 to their first son Archie. Behind the scenes, royal abuse became unbearable to the newlyweds. The two decided to make what is coined the “Megxit”  - trading in their palace digs and responsibilities for a new life of independence in the United States.


She is best known for her role in the TV series Suits, and in 2021 ​​Mark her book, “The Bench,” became No. 1 on the New York Times’ list of best-selling children’s picture books following its release last week.

Famous Quotes

“I think the biggest part of being a girl boss in the office, at home, or anywhere you go is just knowing your value.” – Meghan Markle.

“With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility—to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings. And, if I’m lucky enough, to inspire.” – Meghan Markle.

Best place to follow

Meghan deleted all of her personal social media in 2018. For now, watch for her media interviews and upcoming podcast. The official Instagram account of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex has not been active since 2019, but you never know, they could make a comeback in 2022. Follow here. They also have a website you can check out here.

Personal fave moment

Oprah’s interview and relating to her struggles with depression

#9 Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta AKA Lady Gaga, is a singer-songwriter, actress, and activist.

Gaga was born with musical talent as she learned how to play the piano at age 4. Later, to become an international pop-star winning multiple Grammy and Academy Awards for her artistry.

Best known for in 2021

Lady Gaga into the Metaverse- There is officially going to be a Lady Gaga music pack for the rhythm VR Beat Saber, the popular game in which you control lightsabers through virtual reality.

Historical Disruptions

Lady Gaga has been vocal about tapping into her own trauma, being raped by a music producer at 19 years old, to go full method in playing Patrizia Reggiani in the House of Gucci. “I was falling apart as [Patrizia] fell apart. When I say that I didn’t break character, some were not by choice. I’ve already been through this anyway. I might as well give it to you.’

2010 VMS Meat Dress- to protest against the military’s “don't ask, don’t tell” policy in which military applicants were not to be asked about their sexual orientation.

REALLY any of her music videos, “Telephone,” “Bad Romance,” “Do What You Want.”



2021- House of Gucci Starring Lady Gaga

Famous Quotes

​​"You have to be unique, and different and shine in your own way." - Lady Gaga.

"Don't you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can't be exactly who you are."- Lady Gaga.

Best place to follow

Instagram- BTS of Lady Gaga on set during movies, music videos, and award shows. You have got to see her iconic outfits posted on the gram.

Personal fave moment

Her gaga over Bradley Cooper

#10 Yam Karkai

Yam Karkai

Digital artist, color-obsessed illustrator, and creator of World of Women, meet Yam Karkai. You might not have heard of Yam Karkai unless you followed the NFT craze in 2021, especially female artists minting headlines.  

Best known for in 2021

Karkai’s World of Women NFT collection went viral thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk’s shout-out and Reese Witherspoon’s special purchase. Karkai’s artwork has a purpose and a mission to empower women and incorporate more inclusivity and diversity into the NFT industry.

Yam Karkai

Famous Quotes

"NFTs Gave Me a Sense of Security and Economic Stability I Never Felt Before" Yam Karkai

Watch her interview

Best place to follow

World of Women Discord Community

World of Women on Twitter

Connect with Yam LinkedIn

Personal fave moment

I’m obsessed with all of her avatars. #WorldofWomen #Goals

Want to learn more insights from female disruptors in 2022?  Sign up for free to attend the Female Disruptors Virtual Summit here.

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