“I’ve never allowed being a woman or an African-American to determine my future. I don’t walk into rooms saying ‘Oh my God, I’m the only one here who’s a woman; I’m the only one here who’s a person of color.’ I don’t have time for that.”

Michele Roberts is one of the current heads of the National Basketball Players Association, becoming the only woman to achieve this position in history. Beginning her career, Roberts served as a trial lawyer after graduating from the Boalt Hall School of Law in 1977. She worked for the law office Akin Gump from 2004 until 2011. Three years later in 2014, she was given the position of executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. Roberts is also a member of the faculty of Harvard School of Law and has been praised by many with her skills as a trial lawyer during her years in this workforce. She is playing a role in changing the views of women directors in the male dominated sports industry.

Nationality: American

Industry: Sports

Q: Is this a job you think you could have for the next 20 years? NBA

A: “One of the things that I feel fairly strongly about is — and this is not just this job — there are just some jobs that are in this category. What makes this thing work is the influx of new, fresh, young ideas. I am 60 years old. I’m not going to be here when I’m 80. I’m not going to be here when I’m 70. I may not be here when I’m 65. I probably won’t. But there are so many young, talented people that, every day, want to come work with us. They’re excited. They’re exciting. And I do think that this is the kind of position that will only make the union stronger if it continues to have people that are innovators and exciting and not octogenarians running it. I do. I think it’s a young game. It’s a young person’s game. I’m inspired by my very young staff, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that there is an amount of energy that this job requires. And the forty-somethings do pretty well. That’s why they’re always staring at me — ‘when are you leaving?’ I’m leaving. Don’t worry about it. I’m not going to be here to 70.”