25 Women Poised to Lead the Culture in 2014

Look: I don’t like writing these lists either. I long for the day in which I will no longer have to write them, when women will just be the people participating in the culture as full human beings like everyone else, because the culture will have quit giving disproportionate airtime to the other gender. In the meantime: Don’t listen to the old fogeys who insist that the reason women don’t make a lot of noise in the culture is that they do unremarkable work. You just don’t hear enough about the remarkable work. Here are 25 women who will do great things this year.

The criteria: I didn’t want to repeat any entries from my list of women who drove the culture in 2013, which you can read here. Any names recognizable from past achievements only merited inclusion if they’re about to have a breakthrough in 2014. There is no particular order to this list. And obviously personal taste played a role here.


Gillian Flynn

2014 is Flynn’s make-or-break year. Two of her books have been turned into movies. The blockbuster hit Gone Girl, directed by David Fincher with a script by Flynn herself, will get the lion’s share of the attention. And in a savvy move, Flynn’s gone and changed the third act of the novel for the screen version to preserve the nail-biting suspense of the original. If that film is the success it’s almost certainly destined to be, she’s going to be a brand name of her own in nearly every house in America.