When I entered into the tech space, the first executive level woman I met was very rude and condescending. Her role was to help early stage startup founders through a program that shall not be named. Instead of offering solutions, she found it more amusing to belittle my ambition, insult my idea, criticize every word that came out of my mouth and laughed at every question or request for clarification of her comments. She made me feel really small that day and I honestly questioned whether I made the right decision to quit my amazing job at Stanford with my amazing female mentors/leadership in the health space. A month after this experience I ended up being invited to demo my app product at a women's event alongside 15 other women led tech companies in various stages. It was an amazing, inspiring, and empowering event. Every woman there only wanted the other to thrive and I realized this was the proper introduction every woman should have when entering the tech space. I decided the next day to form a group for women in tech to find support and a safe space to share their challenges without ridicule. I decided I would help women so that they are always met with positive support versus negativity. It's hard enough being in a male dominated industry, women need to do what we can to elevate and empower each other with no expectation but to succeed together in our professional endeavors.
I always look for passion driven female entrepreneurs with the same mindset of making time to give with no expectation while building their companies. Many of us don’t have much spare time in our everyday lives, but we also know that if you really want to help someone, you will make the time for it, it doesn't take much. It can be as simple as playing soundboard or an email introduction to organizing & hosting an event. Female entrepreneurs who carve out time to help others with no expectation other than for us to all succeed together are the type of female entrepreneurs Runway should look for.
This is a great time to be a woman in tech, there are so many women's groups, movements etc. being formed to support each other. In time we will no longer have to ask any tech company if there is an internal women's group or a diversity and inclusion department. It will be the industry standard to start a company with that expectation. The more we speak up, the more we act, the more change we will see for women in tech.