Jennifer Hyman

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Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Rent the Runway

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Jennifer Hyman: Biography at a Glance

  • Jennifer Hyman is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway, an 11 million-member startup that pioneered dynamic ownership in the fashion industry by enabling women to rent designer clothing.
  • Rent the Runway, one of only 20 female-led "unicorn" companies in the U.S. to achieve a $1B valuation, went public.
  • She leads a team of 1800 people that is 93% female and non-white, honored as a top company to launch one's career, and identified as one of "The Best Places to Work" in New York.
  • Hyman is one of the most accomplished startup leaders in the U.S., having raised over $525M from top venture capitalists and honored with recognitions like the TIME "100 Most Influential People in the World", Forbes "12 Most Disruptive Names in Business", Fortune's "Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs", "Trailblazers", "40 under 40" and Fast Company's "Most Creative People in Business."
  • Founded the Rent the Runway Foundation, a non-profit organization to empower and scale female entrepreneurs; serves on the Board of Directors of The Estee Lauder Companies, the Women.nyc Advisory Board, and is a Founding Member of the NYSE Board Advisory Council. Advisor and Investor in many high-growth startups throughout the U.S.
  • She is also one of 100+ high-profile entrepreneurs that have joined BFF, an open-access community with a mission to help women and non-binary people get educated, connected, and empowered in web3 and the metaverse.

Videos

Biography

Jennifer Hyman serves as the CEO of Rent the Runway (RTR), which she co-founded in 2009 while a business student at Harvard. RTR is transforming the way modern women get dressed by enabling women to rent clothing. RTR has not only become a $1 billion business—a valuation fewer than 20 women-owned companies in the U.S. have ever reached—but also did so when Jennifer was nine months pregnant. Jennifer is a mission-driven leader and has built Rent the Runway from an idea into a high-growth company with one of the most beloved brands in the country.  Her proudest accomplishment has been to equalize benefits for her salaried and hourly workers and to become a national advocate of business leaders' responsibility to become moral leaders. Ms. Hyman serves on the Board of Directors of The Estée Lauder Companies and Zalando, and is a Founding Member of the NYSE Board Advisory Council, which champions increased board diversity.

Topics

Using AI to Deepen Your Competitive Moat--and Your Customer Relationshipsarrow-down

The Fashion industry--and the e-commerce sector in particular-- is poised to benefit from the rapid rise of AI technologies by helping to narrow the “endless aisle” problem of shopping in the 21st century.  By focusing on the unique customer data advantage and fashion curation capabilities of her company Rent the Runway, Jennifer Hyman is unlocking an even greater opportunity to leverage AI in her business, where customers can rent from the world’s largest shared designer closet for their everyday lives. Hyman will discuss how businesses can effectively harness emerging technologies like AI to deepen the competitive moats of their business, enhance customer satisfaction, and ultimately improve business outcomes.

To Hell and Back: Leading with Resiliencearrow-down

In February 2020, Rent the Runway had just come off their biggest sales year ever. Not only was it now a $1 billion business—it was a valuation fewer than 20 women-owned companies in the U.S. have ever reached.

Suddenly COVID hit the U.S. and people sheltered at home. With no need to get dressed for work, special events, or anything for that matter, nearly 70% of RTR customers paused their subscriptions overnight.

From the stage, Jennifer shares the story of how she saved her company, positioning the business strategically, financially, and culturally for a post-COVID world. She went on to successfully take Rent the Runway public just a year later, in the first-ever IPO led by a female CEO, COO, and CFO.

Jennifer managed to keep her team together and united with deep resilience and passion for the business, fighting against macro factors outside of the their control. Her story is loaded with leadership lessons that can help any team overcome even the most difficult times.

How to Grow in Recessionary Timesarrow-down

The companies that win during difficult macroeconomic climates have an extreme focus on the customer experience. This speech will dig into how to create a customer experience mindset across every division of your company.

High Stakes Decision Makingarrow-down

Every executive is faced with countless decisions to which there are no good answers and often the business lies in the balance. As a founder and CEO, Jennifer Hyman will share her insights and will review some of the biggest decisions she had to make as a leader, how she made them, and the lessons she learned in the process. Through anecdotes and clear cut takeaways, she gears this conversation towards anyone thinking deeply about how to be a better leader. 

How to Have a Big Career AND a Big Lifearrow-down

There is countless debate about work-life balance and whether it is possible as an executive. We saw more women leave the workforce during COVID than at any point in recent memory. As a founder of a high-growth company, CEO of a public company, and Board member of three public companies, Jennifer Hyman will discuss how she managed to do this while also getting married, having two kids, raising a family, and building a community.

Experiential Marketing – The New Frontierarrow-down
  • The Material Economy vs. The Experience Economy
  • The Experience Economy & Expanding the Market
The Dress is just the Beginning – Building a Lasting Relationship with Your Customer
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Jennifer is a terrific speaker. She is thoughtful, poised, intelligent and well-spoken as well as being very compassionate.

Bryant University
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