Aria Finger is the CEO at DoSomething.org
Aria is currently CEO and Chief Old Person of DoSomething.org, the largest tech company exclusively for young people and social change. She has been an instrumental part of scaling DoSomething.org from less than 100,000 members to over 5 million members in 131 countries today. Starting as an associate 14 years ago, Aria created DoSomething’s Teens for Jeans campaign which clothed half of all homeless youth in the US in a single year. In 2013, she founded DoSomething Strategic, a strategic consultancy that uses DoSomething.org’s 25+ years of experience to help clients reach young people and fuel positive impact in the world. Aria graduated magna cum laude in economics and political science from Washington University in St. Louis, and completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She has been highlighted in the New York Times, Fast Company, and was named to the 2012 Crain’s New York Business list of “40 Under Forty” and featured on the cover. In 2016, she was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
What brought you to Davos 2019?
As a Young Global Leader, I was fortunate enough to get an invitation by the World Economic Forum to officially attend Davos in 2018. The catch was that in 2018 I would have been 7 months pregnant so I passed on the opportunity. The World Economic Forum was super understanding and let me attend in an official capacity in 2019 instead. I was excited to be in Davos this past January to advocate for and lift up the voices of young people globally that are so often left out of these critical policy discussions.
Defining leadership moment at Davos:
I was at a dinner in Davos with a lot of important and famous people (as one does at Davos). One person at the dinner very kindly and generously called out a female CEO in the room who had kids and had taken maternity leave with each of her children. He mentioned how she was an amazing role model for all young women and girls. I immediately spoke up and asked this man why she shouldn't and couldn't be seen as a role model for young men and boys as well. I think its so critical that dedicating time to childcare and taking parental leave not just be seen as something that we applaud in women. If men don't participate in taking care of their children we will literally never be in an equal world.
Personal motivation to advocate for women and girls:
I've had an incredible female mentor my entire professional life who lifted me up, believed in me and pushed me to strive for everything that I could professionally. Further, my mom is incredible. She always believed that I could literally do anything and everything I wanted. Not all women and girls (or men either!) have those strong female role models in their life. I know so many young women who lack confidence and self-assuredness and it crushes me. They are these incredible, intelligent, generous people but they don't see it. I want to change that.
Where can people learn more about you and your key projects?
Everyone can check out DoSomething.org and DoSomethingStrategic.org to learn about everything we do!
I have been so, so lucky to have incredible female role models - from my mom to my first boss - who have believed in me, lifted me up and gave me the confidence to shine. I can only hope that I'm doing the same thing for the next generation of incredible female changemakers.