Chief, the business platform for executive women, faced scrutiny last year for focusing only on empowering women in executive roles at a high cost. Despite its mission to provide networking opportunities and leadership development, critics argued that Chief’s measures were insufficient to address systemic barriers preventing women from sustaining executive positions.

Founders Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan have since pivoted the business model to align better with their members’ values, expectations, and growth KPIs. To date, Chief has raised $140 million, including $100 million in 2022, led by Capital G, the independent growth fund of Alphabet. Additional investors include General Catalyst, led by Ken Chenault, Primary Ventures, and Inspired Capital. Its members represent over 10,000 organizations and 77% of Fortune 100 companies, with 40% of Chief members in the C-Suite and 33% identifying as a person of color.

“What has been important to us has been where are the areas where we should have a voice? Where should we do more beyond the services that we provide to our members?” Childers stated during a Zoom interview. “The reality is that we can’t be everything. If we try to do everything, we will do nothing. As the accusations happened, we needed to make sure that it was clear to our members that we have a voice and create change more broadly than just the community itself.”

Chief launched in 2019 with a mission to maximize the impact of senior women executives. The idea stemmed from Childers and Kaplan’s career challenges as senior leaders with few resources. In five years, it has grown into the largest network of senior executive women in the U.S. Although the founders have expanded their offerings, their primary goal remains the same: to provide resources to women executives so they don’t feel alone in their leadership roles. Understanding that leadership challenges aren’t one-size-fits-all, Childers and Kaplan created various options to serve their diverse members’ needs.