Women of Hudson Square

March 7, 2019

Every March, we come together to celebrate Women’s History Month, a time to honor the great women in our lives, in society and in history. This year, as the Hudson Square BID begins celebrations for our 10 year Anniversary, we have compiled a list of 10 industries and the Hudson Square women driving them forward.

  1. Women in the Revolution:

Did you know that Hudson Square was once home to the vice presidential mansion? After the Revolutionary War and during America’s first presidency, Richmond Hill Mansion was home to vice president John Adams and his wife, Abigail. Abigail Adams, one of America’s founding mothers, was especially fond of living in Hudson Square, calling the estate “the most delicious spot I ever saw”.   Embedded in Hudson Square’s history is the early women’s rights movement, as Abigail Adams famously advocated to her husband for the rights of women and marginalized people. Her husband frequently sought her advice and preserved letters show their back and forth on national and political matters. Abigail argued for more property rights and better education for eighteenth century women throughout her life. In 1776 she famously wrote to her husband and the Continental Congress, requesting “Remember the ladies, and be more favorable and generous to them than your ancestors.”

2. Women in Media:

You may know that Hudson Square was the former printing district. As the printing business began to leave Manhattan, Hudson Square shifted from its printing roots. Creative Ad agencies moved in and took the printers’ place. Hudson Square today is a hub for media companies, many of which have strong female leadership. Half of Horizon Media’s top level executives are women and their Chief Strategy Officer is Eva Kantrowitz. Edelman Communications is headquartered in Hudson Square at 250 Hudson with Edelman NY’s female President, Jennifer Cohan.

3.Women in Journalism:

55% of ProPublica’s top executive staff is female with a female Managing editor, Robin Fields, and their Vice President of Development, Ragan Rhyne. Hudson Square is also home to NY Media’s The Cut and The Strategist, two publications that focus on women’s interests. The Cut’s editor in chief is also a woman, Stella Bugbee. And of course,  WNYC’s headquarters are in Hudson Square (on the site of Abigail Adam’s former abode!), home to their leading President & CEO Laura R. Walker and all of the many podcasts and radio shows with creating edge female hosts (such as the popular duo Two Dope Queens.)

 

4.Women in Fashion:

Hudson Square boasts a lists of female founded or female run fashion and e commerce companies. From Rent the Runway (founded by two Harvard business school classmates Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss) to Moda Operandi (co-founded by the Fashion maven, Lauren Santo Domingo), Hudson Square’s retail businesses have innovated and disrupted the industry. Dia & Co, a female founded startup (founded by Nadia Boujarwah and Lydia Gilbert ) that focuses on plus size fashion is headquartered in Hudson Square and pushed the envelope for the fashion industry’s body inclusivity.

5. Women in Fitness:

Hudson Square is home to many boutique fitness studios that promote women’s health and empowerment. Real Pilates’s founder, Alycea Ungaro, is a leading Pilates expert and has brought her method to Real Pilates in Hudson Square. Zena Rommett Floor, at 112 Charlton Street, is named after the famed Sena Rommett, Italian born American dancer, teacher and one of the founders of Floore Barre and Ballet Technique.

6. Women in the Arts

One of Hudson Square’s longest standing institution has always been at the forefront of providing a platform for women in theater and the arts. Since 1993 HERE Arts Center has been a destination for those passionate about ground-breaking contemporary work and has provided a space for female artists to tell their stories. HERE has developed such acclaimed works as Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and Young Jean Lee’s Songs of The Dragons Flying to Heaven, as well as original musical and dance works created and directed by HERE Co-Founder and Artistic Director Kristin Marting.

Founded in October 1988 by Kathleen Schneider, the Children’s Museum of the Arts seeks to introduce children and families to the transformative power of the arts by providing opportunities to make art side-by-side with working artists. CMA is also female run by Executive Director, Barbara McClenahan. CMA has been at Charlton St. in Hudson Square since 2011 and has served hundreds of thousands of children and families, 27% free of charge.

7. Women in Publishing:

Carolan R. Workman, Executive Chair and President of Workman Publishing, has been working at Workman for over 40 years. Her husband, Peter Workman, founded the company and Corolan established and led the international publishing division and, as corporate officer, was involved in many aspects of the business. Since Peter’s death in 2013, she has presided over the company and is determined that Workman’s uniqueness and culture success will continue to thrive.

8. Women in Food:

From small businesses to the top catering company in NYC, Hudson Square’s businesses are on the creating edge of cuisine. Did you know that CEO Liz Neumark started Great Performances in 1980 as a waitress service for women in the arts, offering an alternative way to supplement artist incomes with flexible work? The company is now the leading catering and events company in NYC serving distinguished corporations, nonprofits, cultural institutions, and private clients for over 35 years. Some of Hudson Square’s newest dining additions are also female run: Chalait Hudson Square, the neighborhood matcha and coffee joint,  is co-owned by Michelle Puyane and Local&Vine , Hudson Square’s neighborhood wine bar, is owned by Nicole Rudolph.

 

9.Women in Tech: 

In late 2018, Google announced their plans to create a campus in Hudson Square with an online statement by Google and Alphabet’s SVP and CFO, Ruth Porat. Ruth holds degrees from Stanford University, Wharton School of Business and the London School of Economics. She has been cited as one of the most Visionary Women in Business and the Tech Industry.

10.Women in Science: 

BioLabs, an incubator space for lab research, is headquarted at 180 Varick in Hudson Square. BioLabs’s Managing Director, Nicole McKngiht, partnered with NYU Langone to create a biotech hub in NYC similar to Cambridge’s Kendall Square in Massachusetts. After founding a small incubator called Kiiln with four other women—a project McKnight found empowering in the male-dominated biotech field—she was approached in 2014 by a former mentor to create a similar space in NYC, thus BioLabs was born.

Hudson Square is also home to New York Genome Center where their senior management is 71% female, lead by their female COO and President, Cheryl A. Moore.