This podcast is made with love by 50inTech, a worldwide network built for and by Women in Tech, welcoming all allies.
A short and practical format to unlock the tech industry and make it move for real! We are talking about women in tech success stories, actionable advice to break through career or business and best practices to improve diversity and inclusion in tech.
50inTech connects women in tech and their allies to make a better tech. Sign up now (it's free) www.50intech.com
"How to rebrand yourself in different industries" - with Olga Petrova, Ph.D. AI Product Manager at Scaleway
Olga Petrova is a Product Manager at Scaleway. Her tasks range from developing new product ideas to defining and maintaining product roadmaps. She’s also in charge of identifying customers’ needs and matching them with Scaleway’s business objectives. She regularly carries out AI (deep learning) projects and shares them with the machine learning community via blog posts, webinars etc. Thanks to her international experience and her Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, Olga has an excellent technical background and a unique view of machine learning.
Leading a VC with an unbiased vision
We have had the pleasure of speaking with CEO and Founder at Newfund, Patrick Malka.
We explore Patrick's commitment to building a culture of inclusiveness, from his equal pay policy to his unbiased vision of his employees. As he points out, Patrick's career has been dotted with key encounters and he believes that his path has been made possible thanks to and with the support of women. This is quite uncommon in the ruthless world of finance!
Tune in to discover about his vision and how he applies it to his company culture.
Episode #17: "When I Grew Up I Thought a Computer Had No Gender" - Claire Evans, Author of "Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet."
> The reason and mission of the book
In the podcast, Claire tells us how she grew up into tech as her father was an engineer. "When I grew up I thought a computer had no gender," she said. But society bias and inequality later taught her otherwise: she felt a distance between technology and women and, as a journalist, she started looking into the hidden stories of women in tech to bring them back into the light.
The more she was looking into these stories, the more she realized there were hundreds of women who made fundamental contributions to the internet, as important as Steve Job's ones. This is how the idea of her book was born, from the sense of solidarity across history that can bring women in tech together today.
> The importance of history in tech
But how did history forget about the key role women played in technology?
Internet is the culprit. At the very beginning of the computer industry, before the 70s, programming was seen as women's work, a mix between mental and labour work. Only with the rise of modern computing, as a real business that makes people earn money, programming became a valuable and desirable job. This is when women started to be pushed out.
At the same time, women who were actually working and making progress didn't have the time to write about their accomplishments, and even when they had the opportunity to do so, they didn't feel empowered enough to underline their achievements and ask for recognition. This is a recurring theme that often works as a barrier to gender equality. A barrier we need to demolish.
Claire underlines how learning history and understanding it is fundamental to make progress, especially in the technology industry, where we are so projected towards the future and we forget so quickly about the past. But we should never forget that looking at past mistakes helps us to challenge the status quo and really make a change.
> The role of men in the tech industry
This is what Claire's book aims for: educating people in the tech industry or not and empowering women by giving them a sense of belonging and pride. But the book is not for women only: men in the tech industry are in a position of power and they should be the first ones to read about women in tech to gain a new perspective about diversity in the industry and hire and promote more women in the ranks.
> The importance of diversity
Diversity is key, it brings new ideas, it builds software made for everyone, it provides inclusion, it avoids bias and exclusion.
The software is as important as the hardware, but it is easily forgotten because it's not visible and it's far behind the machines we use every day. We should never forget that the human side and the personalities of people brings a lot to the table: 75 of the exact same personality is not going to build great things and it's ridiculous to reject someone which doesn't fit the culture. Culture is fluid.
Episode #16: “Why the VC World Needs to Be Less Homogeneous & How to fix it” - Seb Butt, Partnerships & Internships Lead - Diversity VC and Founder & Programme Director - Future VC
Hi, my name is Seb Butt and I work for a fast growing start-up called Craft, as their General Manager for Europe. In addition I am an investor and a non-executive director at boutique executive search firm Engage Infotech. I am an advocate of organisations of all forms, types and in all industries making systemic changes which can lead to opportunities for everyone.
This interest led me to join Diversity VC back in 2016 as a volunteer and I still work with Diversity VC now and most recently, in fact this past summer, I helped to launch the Future VC programme.
The Future VC programme is the first of its kind globally and we brought together 30 people from diverse backgrounds who had a desire to learn more about venture capital as a potential career.
Today I will talk about the importance of diversity within Venture Capital specifically, but much of the rationale can be applied to any industry, and in the second half of the podcast I will share a few tips that you can start to use today to make your place of work or industry a more inclusive and diverse place to be.
Broadly speaking some of the fastest growing businesses in the past 20 years have been huge technology companies and many of these have leveraged venture capital funding in order to hit growth milestones and ultimately become successful. It is accurate to say that VC investors take on high risks to put money behind new ideas.
However, whilst VC might be the dynamic and exciting subset of the private equity industry, the industry is still lagging behind others across the board when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
Diversity VC was set up in 2016. It is a non-profit which is focused on diversity of thought within venture capital and by extension within the start-up ecosystem. One powerful impact of Diversity VC has been its ability to evoke debate but Diversity VC is also very keen to implement practical strategies to make a difference and one of these practical efforts was this past summer when we launched Future VC which is a programme to support highly-skilled professionals and graduates from diverse backgrounds into the UK VC landscape. (...)
We understand that many firms are breaking with well-worn hiring habits. Some firms that volunteered to take on an intern from Future VC had not hired any interns before. We want firms to understand that talent is evenly distributed and, so far, opportunity has not been. We’re also keen for them to understand that they don’t need to undergo huge upheaval to reap the benefits of this untapped talent, and in fact, just a small few procedural tweaks are required.
I am now going to offer you 4 of tips and ideas about ways you can either use to position yourself better to get a job in VC, or a job full-stop!
Tip 1 - Research everything and everyone
Tip 2 - Network with a purpose
Tip 3 - Connect with people
Tip 4 - Deep dive into a subject
Thanks so much for having me on 50inTech podcast.
Diversity VC and I are very aligned with the goals and ambitions of 50inTech and I am excited to be on the platform. The practical nature of 50inTech is perfect and I would encourage everyone to use it and be involved in this community.
Only by working together collaboratively across industries, across companies and across communities we can have a positive change.I believe 50inTech will be a valid contributor enabling women to involve in technology.
Episode#15: "Make your company inclusive from day zero" - Check Warner - Co-founder of Diversity VC & Partner at Ada Ventures
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Hi, I’m Check Warner, I’m the co-founder & CEO of Diversity VC. Diversity VC is non-profit set up to promote diversity and inclusion in venture capital in tech. We collect original data, we help young people to get into the industry from all kinds of background through our internship program, we help VCs turning more inclusive and we help entrepreneurs to access capital. And it’s our mission to make venture capital representative and diverse to represent the society that we invest into.
So the advice I wanted to give today is how you, as a founder of an early-stage company, make your company inclusive from day zero.
We at Diversity VC published with Atomico a guide to build inclusion into your company and ut us available at inclusionintech.com (...)
The second piece of advice is prioritizing it, and reading around why diversity and inclusion really matter. One ressource I’d highly recommend is Fearless Future. It’s a great website which aggregates lots of really important writing on diversity and inclusion.
The third piece of advice is about hiring. It’s really easy when you are an early-stage company to just look within your existing network to hire the first 5 to 10 employees, but that’s going to lead you to developing a really homogeneous employee base. So think about hiring outside of your network. One tool that we have used which I really recommend is called Applied, and what they do is an applicant tracking tool which you can use to (...) source candidates from outside your typical networks.
The fourth piece of advice is about (...) how do you actually make sure that they feel included on a day to day basis. So that’s about having a dialogue where people feel like they can talk about which issues they are facing and bring themselves, their whole selves, to work. So, as part of that it is really important to think about things like parental leave policies, flexible working policies, religious beliefs, and different needs that each member of your company might have.
Finally, none of this would be effective unless you constantly revisit it. It’s not something that you can do once, and then shut the book and never look at it again. It is really important to collect data on what’s going on in your company, use feedback and survey tools like Typeform (...) and then also collect data on the wrong things like the gender pay gap, the equity pay gap, ethnicity pay gap (...)
So one thing I think companies don’t explore enough, which we have been promoting for Diversity VC, is actually using interns. Internships are a fantastic way to bring in diversity of thought into your company without having to make a commitment to necessarily hiring people (...) So think about whether you can offer an internship program, maybe during the summer, and make sure that the interns that you bring in are as diverse and representative as possible (...)
I was delighted to accept the 50inTech invitation to record this podcast. Our mission with DIversity VC is about making entrepreneurship more accessible and inclusive and that’s extremely aligned with what 50inTech are doing. I’m really excited to see what they are building and excited to join all of you on the community of 50inTech. Please do tell your friends about it and encourage other people and spread the word.
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Episode#14: "The truth about women and sales jobs" - Kim Walsh - Global VP at HubSpot for Startups
Hey I'm Kim Walsh Global VP of HubSpot for Startups. (...) We partner with VCs, incubators, basically all startup organizations, and our mission is to help millions of startups grow better.
So we started this, HubSpot for Startups, three years ago. The team is a global team now, we help over 10,000 startup customers. We love to empower all types of companies, and we think that's really important, but we really love to support our female founders as well. (...)
What we see happen so often in sales is that marketing is dominated by women typically in companies, but sales positions are dominated by men. What happens and why I'm the executive sponsor of a woman in sales group, is that we feel it's really important to empower women to have a career in sales.
From a financial perspective having a career in sales gives women opportunities. One of the things that also happens in our women in sales group that I actually hate to see happen, I spent a lot of my time trying to help women is, they’ll get to a certain point in their career they'll graduate college, they’ll come in as an entry level sales person, they’ll do really well, often times they are the top performers on their team, and then what happens from there is they say: “I really love customers, I want to go to work with customers, I want to join the customer success team.” (...)
So what we do is we try and change the landscape of what is sales. Sales isn’t going out drinking every night with your buddies. Sales isn’t closing deals on a golf course. Sales is actually talking to a customer, understanding what the customer's pain points are, understanding how you can help them. (...)
So, if you frame sales, to a woman who’s doing well in sales and let her know that she can actually have a great career, and provide for her family over time. Also, in sales you have a ton of flexibility. I've seen this happen over time, where they’ve dealt themselves because they want to do a career change into something that seems a little bit more safe and they stay in sales and they've actually gone on to do really really well.
So it's really cool and those women are empowering other women. What I think has to happen inside sales and marketing too, that is really important, is that women need examples of people who have done it before. (...)
So what I think about today's world is that so many of us women are sick of our voices being quieter, you know we need to have a platform so many other women are giving us a platform, that we want to be heard, and we can collectively come together and help each other. I think that's happening in today's world as well. (...)
My few key things of advice for anyone out there looking to get into, you know, maybe you're looking to leave marketing, and go into sales, or maybe you're looking to build a career in what we call a “go to market function”.
1/ Be a good listener, be empathetic, love helping people
2/ Put more women in CRO roles, give them a seat at the table, give them a platform
3/ Put more women in leadership positions, put more women in C level positions
In conclusion, I'm really excited and thank you for allowing me to be on this podcast today and talk about something that I'm so passionate about. I accept the 50inTech’s mission, I support it in building a community for women, and building an inclusive platform, this is what the world needs right now, at a really cool time. (...)
Let's continue the conversation and I guess be passionate together, because the more of us that can do this together, the more we can help other people.
Exactly what is needed
As a female tech found, this podcast has actionable and practical advice on how to start a company and scale.