Jennifer Hyman

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Jennifer Hyman
EducationHarvard University, Harvard Business School
OccupationCofounder and CEO, Rent The Runway

Jennifer Hyman is the CEO and cofounder of Rent The Runway, a fashion and technology/logistics company that offers clothing, accessory, and home rentals from over 600 designer brands for women and kids via on-demand rentals and subscription.[1] Rent the Runway has pioneered dynamic ownership in the fashion industry and amassed a huge customer following of 11million people.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Jennifer Hyman grew up in New Rochelle, New York, and attended New Rochelle High School. Hyman was recently inducted into the high school's wall of fame.[3]

She received a BA in social studies[4] from Harvard University in 2002. At Harvard, Hyman was the Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Crimson.[5]

She later attended Harvard Business School, where she met co-founder of Rent the Runway Jennifer Fleiss, and graduated with an MBA in 2009.[6]


Prior to Rent the Runway, Hyman was the Director of Business Development at IMG where she focused on the creation of new media businesses for IMG's Fashion Division. She also ran an online advertising sales team at and was an employee at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, creating Starwood’s first wedding business which was recognized on The Oprah Winfrey Show for its innovation.[6][7]

Hyman co-founded Rent the Runway in 2009 growing the company to over 11 million members and over 1,800 employees.[8] As CEO of Rent the Runway, Hyman sets the strategic priorities and leads the company in growing all areas of the business, including marketing, technology, merchandising, supply chain and data science. Rent the Runway’s employees are 93% female and/or non-white, with 80% of leaders who are women, including a female CEO, COO, CRO and CFO.[9] Rent the Runway, has been honored as one of the best places to work in New York State by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management.[10]

In March 2019, Rent the Runway closed a $125 million round co-led by Franklin Templeton and Bain Capital Ventures while Hyman was 9 months pregnant[11], bringing the total equity raised by Hyman to-date to $337 million.[12] Valued at $1 billion, Rent the Runway is one of the few female-founded, female-led companies in history to reach this milestone.[13]

Hyman participates in national conferences and panel discussions regarding such topics as the sharing economy, women in business, entrepreneurship, leadership, and company culture. Some of her past speaking engagements include NRF Foundation’s “Retail’s Big Show,”[14] WWD’s Digital Forum[15] and the 99U Conference.[16]

Hyman has spoken out publicly against sexual harassment in the tech industry and went public with her own experience on CNBC's Squawk Alley in July 2017.[17] Hyman called on Venture Capitalists to put an end to this behavior and encourages more women to become investors.[17]

Her passion for gender equality in entrepreneurship and tech also drove her to establish the Rent the Runway Foundation and Project Entrepreneur early in her career. Project Entrepreneur was founded in partnership with UBS to help female entrepreneurs across the country gain access to the tools, training, and network they need to scale their businesses.[18] The winning founders receive a $10,000 award, and a spot in the five-week accelerator program at Rent the Runway’s New York office.[18] After completing the accelerator, companies have seen success in closing rounds of funding, media coverage and continuing on to other top tier accelerator programs.[19] Hyman is an angel investor and advisor to many startups throughout the country.[20]

In May 2018, Hyman published a New York Times op-ed titled “Treating Workers Fairly at Rent the Runway,” in which she announced that the company would equalize benefits across its salaried and hourly employees.[21] RTR team members in the company’s warehouse and stores and on its customer service team now receive the same parental leave, family sick leave, bereavement leave and sabbatical packages as the company’s corporate employees.[22]

Hyman serves on the Board of Directors of The Estée Lauder Companies,[23] and on the Advisory Board,[24] the pioneering initiative to keep New York the greatest city in the world for women.

Awards and honors[edit]

Hyman has been honored with numerous recognitions including the “TIME 100” most influential people in the world 2019 [25], Fortune Magazine’s “Trailblazers 2013,”[26] “Executive Dream Team,”[27] “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,”[28] and “40 Under 40”;[29] Forbes Magazine’s “Disruptors 2013”;[30] Crain’s New York Business “40 Under 40”;[31] Inc. Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30”; Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology”[32] and “Most Creative People in Business” [33]; an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” New York Area Regional finalist;[34] the Tribeca Film Festival’s “Disruptive Innovation” award[35]; Marie Claire’s New Guard [36] and’s “Most Influential People in New York Fashion.”[37]

Under her leadership, Rent the Runway has been named to CNBC’s “Disruptor 50” five times in just nine years (most recently #5 in 2019)[38] and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list multiple times[39].


  1. ^ Raphael, Rina (2019-04-05). "Parents, you can now rent children's clothing from Rent the Runway". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  2. ^ Marikar, Sheila (2018-10-12). "The Transformational Bliss of Borrowing Your Office Clothes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  3. ^ "Three Alumni Added To New Rochelle High School's Wall Of Fame". New Rochelle Daily Voice. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  4. ^ Roberts, Daniel (2013-12-13). "Holiday party dress central: How we started Rent the Runway". Fortune. Retrieved 2014-07-03.
  5. ^ "HuffPost". HuffPost. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  6. ^ a b "Jennifer Hyman CrunchBase Profile", "CrunchBase"
  7. ^ Lapowsky, Issie, "The Way I Work: Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway", "Inc.", January 4, 2012
  8. ^ Robert, Yola. "Rent The Runway Joins The Unicorn Club At A $1 Billion Valuation". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  9. ^ "Rent the Runway Announces $125M Investment in Largest Round To Date". 2019-03-21. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  10. ^ "Winners of 2014 Best Companies to Work for in New York State Announced", January 6, 2014
  11. ^ "Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman on Hitting Unicorn Status at Nine Months Pregnant". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  12. ^ Maheshwari, Sapna (2019-03-21). "Rent the Runway Now Valued at $1 Billion With New Funding". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  13. ^ "How many billion-dollar companies have female founders? | PitchBook". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  14. ^ Davis, Ellen, "In their own words: Highlights from Retail's BIG Show Student Program 2013", "Retail's BIG Blog", February 19, 2013
  15. ^ Steigrad, Alexandra, "Making the Right Impression", "WWD", February 14, 2013
  16. ^ "Neil Blumenthal & Jenn Hyman: Why Transparency & Openness Wins", "99U"
  17. ^ a b Balakrishnan, Anita (2017-07-17). "This start-up CEO says she was harassed — and she's calling on VCs to fix the problem in tech". CNBC. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  18. ^ a b "Project Entrepreneur". Project Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  19. ^ "Project Entrepreneur". Project Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  20. ^ "Jennifer Hyman - Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer @ Rent the Runway | Crunchbase". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  21. ^ Hyman, Jennifer Y. (2018-05-06). "Opinion | Treating Workers Fairly at Rent the Runway". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  22. ^ Hyman, Jennifer Y. (2018-05-06). "Opinion | Treating Workers Fairly at Rent the Runway". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  23. ^ "Board of Directors". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  24. ^ "New advisory board enlists dynamic NYC leaders to further women's economic advancement". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  25. ^ "Jennifer Hyman: The 100 Most Influential People of 2019". TIME. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  26. ^ Hyman, Jennifer Y. (2018-05-06). "Opinion | Treating Workers Fairly at Rent the Runway". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-25.[verification needed]
  27. ^ Hyman, Jennifer Y. (2018-05-06). "Opinion | Treating Workers Fairly at Rent the Runway". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-25.[verification needed]
  28. ^ "Board of Directors". Retrieved 2019-04-25.[verification needed]
  29. ^ "New advisory board enlists dynamic NYC leaders to further women's economic advancement". Retrieved 2019-04-25.[verification needed]
  30. ^ Fry, Erica, "Trailblazers: 11 People Changing Business", "Fortune", February 8, 2013[verification needed]
  31. ^ "Executive Dream Team: The startup edition", "Fortune", August 22, 2011[verification needed]
  32. ^ Sellers, Patricia, "Fortune's most promising women entrepreneurs", "Fortune", September 13, 2011[verification needed]
  33. ^ "Meet Jennifer Hyman, one of Fast Company's Most Creative People". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  34. ^ Keating, Caitlin, "40 Under 40", "Fortune", October 17, 2012[verification needed]
  35. ^ "2015 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards To Honor Airbnb, David Lynch & Jason Silva". Tribeca. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  36. ^ DiTrolio, Megan; Holzman, Sara; McKeegan, Colleen Leahey (2018-10-15). "50 Who Women Are Changing the World". Marie Claire. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  37. ^ Carlyle, Erin, "Disruptors", "Forbes"[verification needed]
  38. ^ staff, CNBC com (2019-05-15). "Rent the Runway 2019 Disruptor 50". Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  39. ^ "Rent the Runway: Most Innovative Company". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-05-24.

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