Our June Pop-Up Event, “Tech’s Future is Female: Inclusive Innovation” featured spotlight guests Sharon Vosmek (Astia), Meredith Finn (Salesforce Ventures), Jennifer Billock (Ozlo) and Janice Roberts (BGV). They sat down with Bill Malloy and Brian Nugent (Sway Ventures) to discuss bias in the workplace and how investors and entrepreneurs can work to create a more inclusive and diverse tech ecosystem.
They showed us how behavior shifts in entrepreneurial ecosystems can lead to more robust levels of inclusive innovation, and highlighted research on how access to business networks, expertise and capital play out across gender lines.
Things we referred to at the event (that you are definitely going to want to click on):
- That Fortune article we kept mentioning, Venture Capital Firms With More Teenage Daughters Perform Better
- The Path to More Inclusive Innovation, Vosmek highlights research on how access to business networks, expertise and capital play out across gender lines (it’s seriously awesome)
- Salesforce is working together with their entire Ohana — employees, customers, partners, community organizations and the tech industry — to build a path forward to Equality for all.
- A Bloomberg analysis shows firms with female senior investing partners were not more likely to invest in companies founded by women, find out why.
And of course, Sway Ventures shoutouts to some of the amazing women we’ve backed, doing awesome things in tech:
- Hemma Prafullchandra, chief technology officer at HyTrust
- Eileen Carey, founder & CEO at Glassbreakers
- Alexandra Zatarain, co-founder at Eight
- Falon Fatemi, founder & CEO at Node
- Ruth Hartman, chief merchandising officer at Le Tote
- Shannon Jeffries, production designer at Penrose Studios
Our most tweetable moments, if tweeting is your jam:
Not into limiting yourself to only 140 characters, that’s okay, we’ve got you covered. Share these longer quotes on Facebook or LinkedIn:
“There was a very clear message from our CEO at the top (Marc Benioff) that this was import. That gave me the latitude to then go to the powers that be within Salesforce and say “this is important to me,” it also gave other women within Salesforce the power to then pick up this initiative and support us as well. It’s both having women on the team, but also, very importantly as well, having that message from the top.” – Meredith Finn, Director at Salesforce Ventures
“So what needs fixing in Silicon Valley as it relates to venture?” The ecosystem is a single gender ecosystem, it works really well for men, and not because men don’t want women there, I actually think most men do what us there, but it has become so heavily male that its very difficult to be a female, truly a female, within a room of classic silicon valley people, even when there are a few of us there who happen to be female. so we need to be fixing the ecosystem, we actually need to bring people along. If you’re a man you need to bring women, if you’re a woman you need to bring men. i really think the model of gender only network is broken, and is part of the problem, and specifically women’s networks, are really holding us back. we need be out there building bridges.” – Sharon Vosmek, CEO at Astia
“You come into the room with your skills. People ask me, “As a women what’s important?” I say “Be good at something, and then you come into the room and you are what you’re good at.” – Janice Roberts, Partner at BGV
“Any woman who has gone up against a man for a promotion or a job, or… the presidency, and been shot down while being more qualified, capable…smarter. It’s difficult moment, it is difficult…I think that men need to stand up, almost more than women do, and fight and elevate, and identify and cheer on.” – Jen Billock, VP of Product at Ozlo
Special thanks again to our event sponsor, SheppardMullin!