As a female CEO of a tech startup and as someone who has spent the last 10 years in the engineering field, I’m a proud member and supporter of the National Center for Women & Technology (NCWIT).
Last week, I was very excited to learn that the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance partnered with President Obama’s Startup America Partnership. Both these organizations provide strategic resources to help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Working together, these two organizations will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst to advance women in technology and computing roles in startups across the country. A cause that is near and dear to me.
As an alumna of a women’s college, I know the importance of female role models and mentors – especially for women in technology. After graduating college, I accepted a job as a software engineer at IBM, where I worked for 7 years. I realized quickly that it was a male-dominated profession and importantly, that there were very few women in senior positions. Since then, I have been committed to increasing women’s participation in tech roles, specifically senior level roles.
It’s wonderful to be part of an alliance that does just that – encourages women to become more involved in technology and entrepreneurship. The NCWIT highlighted the fundamental issue and the importance of providing opportunities and resources for women in technology:
Women represent more than 50 percent of the American professional workforce and own more than 40 percent of private businesses in the U.S., yet they fill only 25 percent of technology jobs and start only 8 percent of technology companies. In contrast, research shows that tech companies with a higher representation of women in their management teams have a higher return on investment; that startups run by women use less capital and are more likely to survive the transition to established company; and that including women in a group is more likely to increase its collective intelligence, helping it solve problems better and faster than homogenous groups.
I am extremely proud that TaskRabbit is one of the 14 founding members of the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance. NCWIT is determined to grow the alliance to 100 companies nationwide by the end of the year, and it is my hope that this program will be able to give women the advice and tools they need to thrive in technology and business.
To learn more about the NCWIT or to join the Entrepreneurial Alliance, please visit http://www.ncwit.org/ea; and you can learn more about the Startup America Partnership at http://www.startupamericapartnership.org/.