Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Women in Tech Archives

Younoodle: A Snapshot Of The Global Female Entrepreneur

Here's an interesting infographic from Younoodle, which runs startup competitions around the globe:

 

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Dressing Too Colorfully - Conversations Among Women In Tech

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Salon host Vanessa Camones reaches for the microphone...

Earlier this week the conversations at the SF Curators Media Salon focused on the topic of women in tech. Vanessa Camones and her team at theMIX Agency hosted the event and organized the speakers: Julie Ann Horvath of GitHub fame; Collen Taylor from Techcrunch, Leah Hunter from Fast Company, Sepideh Nasiri from Women 2.0, and Jennifer Lankford from Orchestrate.io.

SF Creators Salons are less about podiums and more about peers, so the conversation moved quickly around the room. It was great to hear women talking about these issues and to hear stories of workplace behaviors that should be cast into the history books of the twentieth century and not 2014 — well into the second decade of the twenty-first century.

I was astounded by some of the criticism male management had leveled against women: Too colorful, too passionate, too girly.

At times I felt like a fly on the wall and happy to be such a creature because I was hearing real things said openly and  passionately. It was a conversation that other men should hear because it was a real talk about workplace issues between women of many ages, there was about four decades of workplace experiences being shared. 

Foremski's Take

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SF Creators Media Salon Presents: Real Talk With Women In Tech

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Above, a prior salon at Impress Labs in North Beach.

This month's salon is on the topic of women in tech and is hosted by Vanessa Camones, CEO of theMIX Agency in the Digital Garage on 717 Market Street, May 20 at 6pm.

It promises to be a feisty evening with Vanessa and her team organizing the panel. I'll be joining in from among the audience, collecting questions and comments. Here's the description:

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Gild Says Algorithms Can Lift People Out Of Poverty

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I had a fascinating conversation recently with Vivienne Ming, Chief Scientist at Gild, a San Francisco based company that scans the Internet to identify potentially great software engineers for their clients.

Finding good talent is incredibly hard especially software engineers but Gild says its algorithms can identify people with the right fit, in qualifications and also in cultural fit, sometimes in places where companies wouldn’t think of looking.

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LinkedIn And MetroNet Want More Women In Tech - (Women Rule Social Media!)

Women are only 30% of tech workforce, and only 15% in software engineering so there’s a long way to go to mirror the 50% split in the general workforce. 

One way is to increase the number of women students matched with mentors, which is the goal of a partnership between LinkedIn and MentorNet. They hope to have 40,000 students teamed with mentors over the next two years.

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Upcoming: A 'Live Historic TED Talk' From Paris 1915 By 2 Nobel Prize Winner Marie Curie

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This is well worth seeing. It's best described as a live historic TED talk from 1915 Paris. Marie Skłodowska-Curie  was the first to win two Nobel prizes. The performance by Susan Marie Frontczak is extraordinary with critics saying that she embodies the scientist in looks and in speech.

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VCs Hire Lots Of Women - But Not As VCs

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Humor Tumblr blog Jesus Christ, Silicon Valley uses Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" manifesto as an excuse to paint incredibly realistic renditions of Sand Hill Road's venture capitalist innovation warriors, and their offices. It's funny because it's true. 

He points out that VC offices are full of women:

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Where Are Silicon Valley's Counter-Culture Investors? There's Money To Be Made

In Wall Street fortunes are made by those that bet against the market because the breakout investment ideas are never found within the wisdom of the crowd. That's what hedge funds do and we know how incredibly successful some of them have become.

Silicon Valley investors run as a crowd and fund the same type of companies run by the same types of people. They invest in copy-cat, me-too startups by the dozens, and they only invest in teams that are nearly identical to each other: white or Asian males with a technical Ivy league education.

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As Arrington's Lawyers And Defenders Step Up, His Critics Step Down

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Michael Arrington and Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO, on stage at recent "Crunchies."

It's taken almost a week for key supporters of Mike Arrington to publicly address allegations that he engaged in serial acts of violence against women over many years.

The  support seems to be a coordinated response because it coincides with Mr Arrington breaking his silence and stating that all allegations are untrue. The statements of support come from former employees and friends.

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The Value Women Bring To Startups: Higher Revenues And Capital Efficiency

Here is a fascinating guest post infographic sent by Muhammad Saleem from the blog on http://www.onlinebusinessdegree.org/:

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Competing With One Arm Tied - Silicon Valley's Gender Gap Handicap

(Sol Tzvi, founder of Genieo, based in Israel.)

Silicon Valley is running hard to maintain its position as the global innovation engine, against competition with dozens of fast growing innovation centers around the world.

Which is why it's puzzling that Silicon Valley has such a large gender gap in key sectors such as angels, VCs, entrepreneurs, engineers, and in senior executive roles.

Why isn't Silicon Valley using all of its people?

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Silicon Valley Celebrates Women Of Vision

Several thousand leading professionals from top Silicon Valley companies are gathering in Santa Clara this evening for a banquet honoring this year's Women of Vision award recipients.

The annual event is organized by the Anita Borg Institute, one of Silicon Valley's oldest professional organizations. [Please see my interview with director Telle Whitney.]

The recipients of the 2012 awards are:

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Women In Tech: Meet The Duchess Of Silicon Valley

Marylene Delbourg-Delphis (above at Buck's Diner) is a serial entrepreneur, she shares her secrets for technology startup success and how she wooed Guy Kawasaki away from Apple.

By Intel Free Press

Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, Calif. is the epicenter of Silicon Valley's venture capital scene, but it's 15 minutes up the road at a diner nestled in the woods where many startup funding deals get hashed out over plates of pancakes and eggs.

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It's Graduation Time And Women MBAs Are A Bargain

Margo Medez-Penate sent me some very interesting statistics from Catalyst, the non-profit organization focused on advancing women in the workplace:

"According to our research, women MBA graduates earn, on average, $4,600 less than men MBA graduates in their first job out of school. We also found that mentoring benefits men the most: men with mentors received $9,260 more in their first post-MBA jobs than women with mentors."

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Women In Tech: Anita Borg Women Of Vision Awards

The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology will celebrate its 2011 "Women of Vision" award winners at Mission City Ballroom, Santa Clara Convention Center, May 19. I attended last year and it was great. I got to meet and speak with Arianna Huffington, the keynote speaker.

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Intel's Radia Perlman: Don't Call Her "Mother Of The Internet"


By Intel Free Press

Call her a mother of two, but don't call her "Mother of the Internet." Engineer, author, inventor and, since March, Intel's director of Network and Security Technology, Radia Perlman never cottoned to the label despite its use nearly every time she speaks at a technical conference or is written about in a story (including this one, her first interview since leaving Sun Microsystems).

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Women In Tech: Sol Tzvi On Starting A Startup...

[Sol Tzvi is head of Genieo, an Israeli startup. She shares her story of starting a startup.]

By Sol Tzvi, CEO of Genieo

As a young CEO and Co-founder of a startup company I often find myself thinking of the path I chose and the destination I lead myself to.

Thinking of all those lonely times, when I'm traveling around the world in the middle of the night - sometimes even in the middle of nowhere really; crossing the world from one corner to another; scheduling meetings with different people from different cultures; speaking in a foreign language which forces me to concentrate not only on what I have to say but also on how to build a proper sentence, all in the cause of reaching out and touching these different cultures.

This is my idea of living: exploring, learning, teaching others, sharing thoughts and ideas, braking rules and lines I locked myself in years ago without even noticing, growing day by day and becoming the person I am today, re-inventing myself to with every new dawn - every day I am the person I am that day.

Our definition of ourselves as people is based on our past: past behavior, past experiences, past achievements. And yet, is observing a prior behavior really the best approach to understand who we really are? Well, to some extent - yes. But then this could lead us to live in a false impression and view of ourselves. After all, we humans are only trying to simplify complex questions, such as who we are.

Can we really do it?

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Upcoming: Women In Technology Summit - September 12-14 - San Jose

Women In Technology International (WITI) is holding its Annual WITI Women and Technology Summit September 12- 14.

Here are some details:

Keynote Speakers

· Sandy Carter, VP, SOA & WebSphere Strategy, Channels & Marketing, IBM

· Bernadette Nixon, SVP Global Field Marketing, CA

· Nilofer Merchant, Entrepreneur, CEO & Chief Strategist, Rubicon Consulting

· Kathrin Winkler, Chief Sustainability Officer, EMC

The 15th Annual WITI Hall of Fame Awards

· Honoring key women innovators from science and technology on Monday, September 13th. This year’s honorees are: Sandy Carter of IBM, Dr. Ruth David of Analytic Services, Inc., Dr. Adele Goldberg, Dr. Susie Wee of Hewlett Packard and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Katie Boehret, Reporter for The Wall Street Journal, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

o WITI NextGen

· At this Young Women’s micro conference on September 13, 2010, leading women from technology will teach, mentor and share with 20 middle school and high school girls to encourage the pursuit of careers in technology. The day will feature career, leadership and mentoring panels and workshops, as well as the opportunity to share and have lunch with distinguished WITI Hall of Fame Honorees.

o The WITI Foundation Executive Auction and VIP Reception

· Provides an opportunity to network and bid on one-to-one meetings with the top executives of companies such as GEICO, Symantec, eBay, Genentech, McKesson and Charles Schwab. Auction items include packages such as an executive lunch or dinner meeting with Mr. Randy Spratt of McKesson at a Bay Area restaurant of the winner’s choice; plus an iPod Nano, American Express gift card and tickets to the September 16 San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Executive Auction is the WITI Foundation’s annual fundraiser and closes the Annual WITI Summit on the evening of September 14, 2010.

More info: WITI Announces Event Schedule for Annual Women and Technology Summit September 12-14, 2010 at the Doubletree, San Jose, CA


Arianna Huffington: Women Leaders Need To Do Things Differently

Women leaders need to take a new approach because the current leadership of the nation is not working, said Arianna Huffington, speaking last night at the awards ceremony for "Women of Vision" organized by the Anita Borg Institute.

"There is not of enough wisdom around, your job as a leader is to do things differently." She said that the financial crisis, the oil spill in the Gulf, and other events should have been better handled yet few saw the possibility of those events happening.

She said women leaders are good at imagining what could go wrong and to make sure protective measures are taken.

About 700 people gathered at the Santa Clara Convention Center Wednesday evening to celebrate the Anita Borg Institutes' Women of Vision awards. The Anita Borg Institute works to promote the careers of women professionals within the tech industry. It builds on the work of Grace Hopper, a pioneer computer scientist and US naval officer.

The three winners were:

Innovation Award:
Kathleen R. McKeown
, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University

Social Impact Award:
Lila Ibrahim, General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group, Intel Corporation

Leadership Award:
Kristina M. Johnson, Ph.D., Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy

Ms. Huffington spoke for a long time, dispensing lots of advice. She spoke about her latest book: On Becoming Fearless.... in Love, Work, and Life. She said she wrote it for her two daughters to encourage them to take risks and not be fearful of failure.

Here is some more advice from Ms. Huffington:

- I always tell my children about my failures rather than my successes.

- Be bold, chutzpah is rewarded.

- Avoid guilt and feelings of inadequacy, deal with naysayers.

- Multitasking is not productive.

- Get plenty of sleep, 4 hours a day is not enough, we live in a sleep deprived culture and that affects our decisions.

- She quoted Michel de Montaigne:"My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened."

- Turn off your gadgets, your Blackberries, spend some time away from them and never place them close to where you sleep.

I spoke with Ms Huffington earlier in the evening and asked her how she feels about being a role model. She said that she doesn't think of herself as a role model but she can't control how others see her.

She said that the number of women executives and entrepreneurs appeared to be increasing and that the movement was in the right direction.

I also spoke with one of the award winners, Lila Ibrahim from Intel. She runs the 'one laptop per child' program that has already placed more than 2 million Classmate laptops around the world.

Ms. Ibrahim has a team of 130 people at Intel. The group is a for profit social enterprise. (More to come in a future post.)

Justin Rattner, CTO at Intel and on the board of the Anita Borg Institute, said that there were now three women Intel Technology Fellows from none three years ago.

Jerri Barrett, VP of Marketing at the Anita Borg Institute said that the organization had managed to survive the financial crisis. There was concern that companies would hold back funds but the Institute had managed to grow over the past two years.

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More info on the Anita Borg Institute:

Reading our blog
Reading Telle Whitney's blog
Read our Fast Company blog
Following us on Twitter
Listening to our podcasts
Subscribing to our news feed
Subscribing to our e-newsletter
Watching our YouTube videos

Past Women of Vision Winners
2009
2008
2007

Here is a Pearltree about the event and also about women in tech:


Anita Borg: Women of Vision Awards

I'm looking forward to the Anita Borg Institute's Women of Vision Awards Banquet coming up on May 12.

Keynote will be given by Arianna Huffington, at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Award winners:

Innovation Award:
Kathleen R. McKeown
, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University

Social Impact Award:
Lila Ibrahim, General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group, Intel Corporation

Leadership Award:
Kristina M. Johnson, Ph.D., Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy

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Please see: The Search For Silicon Valley's Women...


The Search For Silicon Valley's Women...

Claire Cain Miller at the NYTimes reports: Why So Few Women in Silicon Valley?

Women own 40 percent of the private businesses in the United States, according to the Center for Women's Business Research. But they create only 8 percent of the venture-backed tech start-ups, according to Astia, a nonprofit group that advises female entrepreneurs.

That disparity reaches beyond entrepreneurs. Women account for just 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, and 22 percent of the software engineers at tech companies over all, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. And among venture capitalists, the population of financiers who control the purse strings for a majority of tech start-ups, just 14 percent are women, the National Venture Capital Association says.

It's an old story and the article doesn't come up with anything new.

Not too long ago I asked Judy Estrin, one of our top serial entrepreneurs why there was a gender gap here:



Kay Koplovitz, the former head of USANetworks, has headed many successful companies. She called for more women entrepreneurs last year when she received an SDForum Visionary Award:


Adriana Gascoigne founded Girls in Tech to try and address the issue: Here is my interview with her:

"When women get together we can connect on a deeper level than if men are around," says Ms Gascoigne. "It helps to build confidence and it helps to create stronger relationships."

Men are allowed to some events such as dinners but they have to be a guest of a member.

A lot of women in tech tend to try to blend in, they dress in a similar manner to the men, and they behave in a similar way but this is a mistake she says.
"It is important to embrace feminity, to embrace girliness," says Ms Gascoigne. "Too many women think they need to be more like men to succeed. You don't."

Here is my interview with Telle Whitney, the head of the Anita Borg Institute, which is very focused on increasing the number of women in tech.

Thoughtleaders: Where are the women in technology? Anita Borg Institute aims to shake things up

Ms Whitney said that when she worked in tech research she sometimes felt isolated as a woman. And that isolation sometimes leads to women leaving their company, or their profession, to go and do other things. The Anita Borg Institute wants to reverse that trend and raise the numbers of women in tech research.

Here is the Anita Borg Institute's: The 6 Attributes Of High Ranking Women In Tech

And: Anita Borg Institute - Women Of Vision Winners Announced

Here is Google's Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

And here is an excerpt from a story by Sand Hill Slave about life in the Silicon Valley VC gulag:

Ladies (and Gentlemen) Executive Assistants,

Do you have a boss that is a complete ass hat? Is he the type of guy you look at and say,"forget closing deals..this fool can't even close a door..."

I had one of those bosses. And with alarming frequency, he would go over his idiot minutes allotment for the week within the first 48 hours. My personal "Bend it for Beckham" fantasy was more likely to come true than this moron ever achieving "rollover" idiot minutes.

What was my damage with this guy?? He was constantly opening up attachments that CLEARLY had a virus and then would give me his laptop to deal with. He'd get the warning about it being a .vbs file but since he was "multitasking " on the phone and didn't pay attention to his screen, he'd go and click on the attachment. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Course of action: I stayed up late a few times over a period of 2 weeks until about 2am, went to work (yes, you read that correctly) and I subscribed his work email address to multiple hardcore gay porn sites for the "free pix of the day".

Read the rest of "Hardcore Pranks"

And here is my PearlTree that collects web sites about women in tech:

Women in Tech


Anita Borg Institute: The 6 Attributes Of High Ranking Women In Tech

The Anita Borg Institute today released the results of a survey that seeks to understand why there are so few senior level technical women. Women represented only four percent out of 1,795 surveyed for the report.

Here are some extracts from the report that highlights the six attributes held by senior ranking women:

- Analytical: The majority of senior technical women perceive themselves as analytical. Indeed, all technical employees tend to see themselves as high on this attribute, as technical careers tend to first and foremost look for analytical and problem-solving skills.

- Unafraid to Question/Desire to Learn: A majority consider themselves as questioning - having the ability to ask the right questions, which is critical to problem-solving.

- Risk-Takers: A majority of senior technical women view themselves as risk-takers, which was identified by technical employees as one of the top four attributes of success. Moderate amounts of risk-taking are an important part of leadership, and senior women and men are equally as likely to perceive themselves as risk takers. This research shatters the stereotype that men are more likely to be risk takers than women are.

- Collaborative: Senior technical women are collaborators. A collaborative work style is perceived as a critical success factor in high-technology by both technical men and women, and is consistent with a culture that values innovation, which cannot be achieved without extensive collaboration. Collaboration is both a critical source of success but also a great source of career satisfaction.

- Hard-working/Long Hours: Advancement for senior women comes with long working hours. This finding is consistent with the culture of technology where advancement is tied to increased responsibility and significant availability. This can be a barrier for women who seek advancement while juggling family responsibilities in dual-career couples. 72 percent of the senior technical women surveyed reported cutting back on sleep to advance their careers and nearly a third have delayed having children.

- Assertive: A majority of senior technical women describe themselves as assertive - significantly more so than women at the entry and mid levels. In a professional culture that rewards speaking up, self-promotion, and ambition, senior women interviewed uniformly said they had to learn to be assertive and promote themselves in order to advance. However, research also shows that women have less freedom than men in assertive behavior. Because women's assertiveness defy long-standing gender stereotypes, women often experience a "likeability penalty" when they are assertive.


More information:



Anita Borg Institute - Women Of Vision Winners Announced

The Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology has announced its 2010 Women of Vision award winners:

Kristina M. Johnson Under Secretary for Energy, Department of Energy

Kristina M. Johnson is the Women of Vision Award winner in the Leadership category. Kristina Johnson is recognized for her work as both Under Secretary of Energy and as an academic. As Under Secretary of Energy, she is working on the plan to achieve an 83 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.

Kathleen R. McKeown, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University

Kathleen R. McKeown is the Women of Vision Award winner in the Innovation category. McKeown has made seminal contributions to the natural language processing (NLP) area, also called Computational Linguistics (CL), within the general areas of artificial intelligence, information extraction, and human machine interaction. More specifically, McKeown has made pioneering contributions to natural language generation; this field of research focuses on enabling computers to effectively utilize natural language.

Lila Ibrahim, General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group, Intel Corporation

Lila Ibrahim is the Women of Vision Award winner in the Social Impact category. Ibrahim is responsible for leading the research, definition, development, and marketing of technologies that are specifically designed for education worldwide. Previously, she served as Chief of Staff to Intel Chairman Craig Barrett where she led the Digital Village Initiative to deliver technology projects which advanced Education, Health, and e-Governance from the Amazon to Africa. Ibrahim also established two computer facilities at the Druze Orphanage in Abey, Lebanon.

There will be an awards banquet on May 12 with a keynote by Arrianna Huffington, co-founder the Huffington Post.

The Anita Borg Institute focuses on women who can be role models for other women. Connecting Women and Technology » Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology

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Please see:

Thoughtleaders: Where are the women in technology? Anita Borg Institute aims to shake things up

Anita Borg on why there should be more women technologists


Kay Koplovitz: We Need More Women Entrepreneurs

Kay Koplovitz calls for more women entrepreneurs during her acceptance speech at the SDForum visionary awards.

She said that women haven't had the access to capital and she urged Silicon Valley to "open your hearts" to more women entrepreneurs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGRyvhsP7Uk

Her Bio:

Kay Koplovitz is currently a principal of Koplovitz & Co. LLC., a media investment firm and is the founder of USA Network, the first basic cable network delivered via satellite nationwide. Koplovitz was the first woman to head a television network when she founded USANetworks under the banner of Madison Square Garden Sports in 1977. Ms. Koplovitz co-created Springboard Enterprises, a national organization that fosters venture capital investments in women-led high growth companies. Since its inception, Springboard has presented over 380 companies that have raised $4.4 billion in new capital. She also co-founded Boldcap Ventures, a venture capital fund backed exclusively by leading women executives. Ms. Koplovitz is Chairman of the Board of Liz Claiborne, Inc. and a board member of CA.

Please see:

Judy Estrin on the Gender Gap in Silicon Valley