The entertainment industry has long depended on gatekeepers - the producers, casting directors and executives who select which women will have the opportunity to tell their stories and share the limelight. But that is changing, as a whole generation of creative women are blazing new trails, seizing the opportunities offered by open platforms to do it their own way and on their own terms.
At YouTube, we believe that everyone should have a chance to share their story, and that creative freedom leads to new voices, formats and possibilities. By radically lowering barriers to entry and eliminating conventional gatekeepers and tastemakers, YouTube lets this generation of women invent their own roles and set their own boundaries. With a potential audience of more than one billion fans around the world, women have a tremendous opportunity to build a career that gives them ultimate creative control, and maybe even build a media empire of their own.
YouTube’s Women to Watch is a new initiative that will showcase the incredible women who are redefining entertainment on their own terms.
These visionary creators have amassed millions of fans and are shaping our culture in new ways. They are everyday women with an extraordinary vision. They are talented, hilarious and above all, real.
Meet YouTube’s Women to Watch
How to Cake It: Yolanda Gampp, Connie Contardi and Jocelyn Mercer collectively run one of the most successful food channels on YouTube. With Yolanda’s extraordinary talent as a baker matched to Connie and Jocelyn’s decades of experience as video producers, How to Cake It has become a global media empire that includes their wildly popular videos released every Tuesday, a new cookbook and a line of baking tools. A true partnership of equals, the How to Cake It team put the emphasis on “we” instead of “she”.
hot for food: In just a few short years Lauren Toyota has gone from MuchMusic VJ to Canada’s #1 vegan influencer, with the goal of making vegan food mainstream. A self-taught chef, Lauren is the creative powerhouse behind hot for food, which she started as a one-woman creative outlet for her love of vegan cooking. In addition to her soon-to-be-released cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes To Feed Your Face, Lauren has also expanded with a vlog channel, Lauren in Real Life.
The Domestic Geek: Sara Lynn Cauchon started The Domestic Geek as a personal creative outlet while working a day job as a television producer. She discovered a place where she didn’t need to compromise and could cook the dishes she wanted to and have full creative control of the production process. As her channel grew in popularity, she realized that her side hustle was offering her more enjoyment and satisfaction than her day job. Now she employs four full-time staff members and calls herself the “accidental entrepreneur”.
Aysha Abdul: Aysha began her journey on YouTube while she was still in school, as a way to try out her favourite beauty and fashion looks. Over time, she realized that she was offering something that no one in mainstream media was offering - representation for black Muslim women who don’t often see themselves reflected in traditional beauty publications. Aysha loves the freedom that eponymous YouTube channel gives her to represent herself as a black Muslim women in exactly the way she wants to be seen. In just a few months, she has amassed a dedicated audience and is redefining what it means to be beautiful.
Cat & Nat: Motherhood is tough and there is so much that women don’t know as they start this lifelong journey. YouTube offered them a place where they could be fully themselves - unvarnished and honest about their challenges and triumphs. Neither Cat nor Nat had any experience as video producers before they began filming their infamous #MomTruth videos in their car. Real moms, real stories - and a real friendship between two hilarious and honest women.
RachhLoves: As the beauty and the brains behind both the RachhLoves makeup channel and RachhLovesLife parenting and lifestyle channel, Rachel Cooper has her hands full! She started the original RachhLoves channel as a creative outlet from her marketing job. As her audience and community grew, she found that the creative freedom to make videos exactly the way she wanted was liberating and she hasn’t looked back since.
Lauren Messiah: One of LA’s most sought-after personal stylists, Lauren Messiah first turned to YouTube as a place to get her name out, but it quickly morphed into something much more meaningful. As she began to get questions from her audience about simple fashion questions, Lauren realized that women were confused by the unattainable images in fashion magazines, and just wanted to know honest and useful fashion advice that would help them look their best. Now her media empire spans her Personal Style University, The Book of Style and her 3 x weekly videos on YouTube, where she dispenses real-life style advice for real women.
Elle Lindquist: Mom, parenting, and lifestyle vlogger Elle Lindquist knows better than most that women in traditional media are held to unrealistic expectations. She discovered YouTube one day when looking for help with a makeup question and was blown away by the variety of faces and body types making beauty videos. She joined the community and began to upload her own videos. Her family vlog celebrates the hard work that goes into being the architect of the life you want. While she has been encouraged to pitch her vlog as a reality television show, Elle relishes the creative control she has as the producer of her videos, along with the flexibility that comes from working at home with her kids.
April Wilkerson: A self-taught woodworker, April Wilkerson started her YouTube channel as a way to share her projects with others. As her audience grew, she began to realize that YouTube offered a way for her to turn her passion into a thriving business and two years ago she quit her day job to become a full-time woodworker on YouTube. The freedom to create whatever she wants is what drives her - given the length of time and intensive commitment each project requires, April doesn’t take commissions and she doesn’t listen to the thousands of opinions about what she should make or what it should look like. She follows her own creative spirit and builds exactly what she wants, without compromising her vision.
Hot & Flashy: Angie is beauty vlogger with a twist - she’s focused on the needs of women 50+. If you’re looking to deal with wrinkles, gray hair and hot flashes while still looking stylish, you need look no further than Hot & Flashy. Angie is putting a real face on fashion and beauty trends for women over 50, sharing her how-to’s and product tutorials that consider the needs of women with mature skin. She’s a godsend to her community of fans, who can’t find this kind of advice anywhere else.