Michelle Kydd Lee, Chief Innovation Officer, CAA

Why She’s a MAKER: How do you introduce philanthropy into the Hollywood scene? Insert Michelle Kydd Lee. Not only is she the first female partner at the talent powerhouse Creative Artists Agency. Kydd Lee is also one of the founders behind the Time’s Up campaign, which strives to address systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that has kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. “If someone just gives you the chance, you can show them what you’re capable of, and then you can go change the world.”

Hollywood’s New Act: After spending time on the frontlines of the Bosnia-Croatia conflict providing aid to refugees, Kydd Lee returned to California and created the CAA Foundation, the first philanthropic initiative within a talent agency, in 1995. “At the time, there weren’t companies that were doing this. There was no corporate social responsibility, there was no cause-related marketing, pro-social branding.”

Amplifying the Truth: When former Vice President Al Gore visited the CAA office to give a slideshow on climate change, Kydd Lee made sure there was a filmmaker, producer and financers in the audience. That’s where An Inconvenient Truth began. “We just added rocket fuel to the movement,” she says. Not to mention an Academy Award.

Make Room for the Next Generation: In the face of all the #MeToo stories emerging, Kydd Lee continues to see promise in our future. “This is an amazing time to be a young woman in our country. To be a part of a moment in time where they’re seeing ceilings shatter all around. Our job as the adults right now is to not mess things up. And optimism and hope are actually going to be the things that win the day.”