Arielle Gross sits smiling at the camera. She has medium length brown hair and is wearing a floral print blouse underneath a black jacket.

Arielle Gross: Business Lead, Global Business Marketing and Creative at Facebook Inc.

The #SheInnovates stories team sat down with Arielle Gross to discuss the role of women in innovation. Get involved at She Innovates Global.

#SheInnovates Stories: Innovation is solving the world's problems. What problem are you solving?

Arielle Gross: One key problem I care about solving is democratizing access to opportunity. I’ve launched several initiatives to support opportunity access:

  • I led the She Innovates Stories campaign as part of the UN GICC (Global Innovation Coalition for Change), to drive awareness and appreciation of female innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • I founded the Arielle Gross Engineering Visionary Scholarship Fund, to accelerate the opportunities for diverse, budding engineers to access high quality college education.

  • At Facebook, in order to democratize creativity, I launched 2 initiatives: Cannected, to celebrate creative luminaries in 5 global markets; and the #MoreLikeMe initiative, in partnership with HP Inc., to host 18 diverse creatives at Cannes, expanding the opportunity to attend the festival and network with other talented folks in the industry.

#SheInnovates: When did you realize your innovation was a breakthrough?

AG: Innovation breakthroughs are around scale. The idea that someone can be galvanized to take action inspires me. It was really fulfilling to see others, having been sparked by my work, invest in education scholarships and develop programming around creativity.

#SheInnovates: What were some unexpected obstacles you overcame in the innovation process?

AG: Concerns of feasibility were my main obstacles. I didn't have a roadmap to guide me on these initiatives. Identifying the right next steps and overcoming the proverbial ‘imposter syndrome’ were key.

#SheInnovates: What inspires you to love your work?

AG: I love my work because I'm able to make a difference at scale and pioneer progress in un-chartered territory.

#SheInnovates: What do you hope that young women coming behind you take from your work?

AG: I want women to feel fearless about solving problems, and operate with an intrinsic sense of urgency. There's never a right time to innovate for the future, but it's incumbent upon all of us to leave the world in a better place than we found it.

#SheInnovates: Why are women in innovation important?

AG: Women must build for the future and for ourselves. We represent a hugely untapped market from a design and engineering perspective, and can use empathy to build for other women in a way that is unprecedented.

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Interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and length.