Chief, a Private Network for Women Executives, Is Going National

With more than 10,000 members — and another 40,000 on the waitlist — Chief is making itself available across the U.S.

Written by Ellen Glover
Published on Jan. 12, 2022
Chief, a Private Network for Women Executives, Is Going National
NYC-based Chief is going national
Chief co-founders Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan | Photo: Chief

After more than a year of rapid expansion, Chief, a professional network for women executives, has announced that it is going national.

Launched in 2019 by former Casper VP Lindsay Kaplan and Handy SVP Carolyn Childers, Chief was created to be a network of support for women, specifically those in powerful positions. In the beginning, being a Chief member meant access to its stylish clubhouse in Tribeca, where they would hold in-person meet-ups and networking events. But when the world shut down in March of 2020 due to the pandemic, the company had to do a big pivot and go virtual.

Chief created a job board, as well as free one-on-one coaching sessions and peer mentoring groups. It also more than doubled the amount of programming for 2020, featuring VIP speakers like gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams and billionaire fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. Plus it expanded into Chicago, then Boston, then San Francisco, then Washington D.C. — all in an effort to keep up with its ballooning waitlist.

“We’ve always thought of ourselves as a community that happens to have a space, not a space that a community is built around,” Kaplan told Built In when Chief raised $15 million back in May of 2020. “The transition [online] has been positive as our engagement and satisfaction across all services continues to rise.”

Today, Chief has more than 10,000 members across seven cities — women in VP, senior executive and C-suite positions at some of the country’s most influential companies, including Google, Pfizer, Walmart and Disney — plus about 40,000 more on its waitlist. It has also garnered the attention of several prominent VC investors like Ken Chenault of General Catalyst and Alexa von Tobel of Inspired Capital, both of whom sit on its board. To date, the startup has raised $40 million in funding.

Now that Chief has gone national, women executives across the United States can get access to its workshops, meetup opportunities and network of members (all of whom have been vetted based on their seniority, professional experience and demonstrated history of supporting others). 

“By welcoming Chief members on a national level, we will grow the collective power of women leaders to create meaningful change from the top down,” Childers said in a statement. “Women at the helm of companies are navigating extraordinary challenges without a playbook, and now more than ever they need the support, camaraderie, and insights from their peers. We’re building a bigger table so more women can pull up a chair.”

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