Reading Time: 3 minutes Miyoko Schinner beat over 10,000 nominations for the spot Credit: Supplied
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Miyoko Schinner, the legendary businesswoman who founded Miyoko’s Creamery, has scored a spot on the renowned Forbes 50 Over 50 List.

The leader entrepreneur founded the plant-based dairy company in 2014 and has since opened an animal sanctuary that rescues neglected farm animals.

Schinner opened up to PBN about what drives her, and why women are ‘natural born leaders’ in the vegan industry: despite prevelant gender inequality.

Forbes 50 Over 50

The global business magazine compiles lists celebrating the achievements of notable figures worldwide.

It’s recently published 50 Over 50 list marks ‘a new movement of women’ paving the way in industries such as politics, science, and business.

The Forbes 50 Over 50 is a celebration of women’s accomplishments

Alongside Schinner, the list features the likes of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Shondaland Founder Shona Rhimes.

Speaking on the accolade, Schinner told PBN she was still in shock, and ‘extremely humbled’ to feature alongside such ‘powerhouse women’.

Moreover, she battled over 10,000 nominations to make the final cut.

Miyoko Schinner

“We women are at times our own worst enemy. We’ve come to believe that we’re not good enough, that it’s the man in the room who knows how to run things.”

Miyoko Schinner, Founder of Miyoko’s Creamery

Since founding the vegan cheese company from her very own kitchen in California, Schinner sells her products in over 29,000 stores across North America and Australia.

Now, she’s a multi-award winner and has carved a household name in Miyoko’s Creamery, even launching her debut book, Artisan Vegan Cheese.

Despite her roaring success, it’s not come without self-doubt and fear.

She said: “We women are at times our own worst enemy. We’ve come to believe that we’re not good enough, that it’s the man in the room who knows how to run things. 

“I’ve learned that it’s not true. So many times, I’ve doubted myself, given away my power. Only, in the end, to discover that I had known all along how to do something.

“I’m learning – as I age – to rely on my instincts and intuition more and more, and take command and lead. 

“Women know how to nurture, and nurturing is part of a compassionate food system. This is what the vegan movement is about. Women are the natural-born leaders for this industry.”

Gender equality and feminism

Whilst Schinner has made incredible strides for women in the plant-based sector, gender inequality remains prevalent.

For example, a host of female founders with plant-based food startups experience bias during the fundraising process.

This was revealed in a report published by The Vegan Women Summit last year.

Moreover, 75 percent of respondents said they didn’t feel their male co-founders faced the same barriers as they do. Additionally, the founders who are also women of color cited racial bias as well.

Harassment and discrimination were also widely reported among the founders.

At the first-ever Vegan Women Summit last year, Schinner spoke alongside a wealth of others in a bid to ‘inspire, educate, and empower’ female leaders.

Miyoko Schinner spoke up for fellow women in business via her Instagram

What needs to change?

Despite using her voice to spread the vital vegan message, from Time Square billboards and beyond, Miyoko Schinner adds that gender inequality is still ‘rampant’ in both business and activism.

‘Even the media highlights men in business, while often overlooking or minimizing the accomplishments of women in the field.

‘Men have more bravado. And, can be fearless in speaking up about what they’ve done, while women tend to downplay their own accomplishments. 

‘We need the media to start highlighting more women in business as well as activism. Let’s start crowing queens, not just kings’, she said.

You can view the full 50 Over 50 list here.

And, you can shop Miyoko’s Creamery via the website here

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.