Lessons From 5 Fearless Leaders In Tech, Venture Capital And Entrepreneurship
2017-09-13
Lessons From 5 Fearless Leaders In Tech, Venture Capital And Entrepreneurship

It's no secret that one of the best ways to advance your career is to learn from others who've been successful: especially when it comes to overcoming challenges as an outlier in your workforce. There's a lot to be learned: Is the tech industry really ready to accept female leaders? Do male entrepreneurs have an advantage over their female counterparts? What questions should we stop asking women in tech? We sat down with 5 speakers at Create & Cultivate, a conference for female entrepreneurs, at the Microsoft campus in Seattle to get answers to these questions and more.
After almost 20 years working in venture capital and private equity, Sonya Brown is tired of being asked how she 'does it all.' The mother of four and General Partner at Norwest Ventures believes everyone is capable of pursuing their passions. "The reality is, is that men do it all too." They just aren't being asked to explain how they do it.
For Richer Poorer co-founder and CEO Iva Pawling, the lessons she's learned as an entrepreneur also resonate back home, when her son assumed that her office belonged to her male cofounder. "It's incredible to see that...he still himself has these stereotypes, as a four-year-old, of what moms should be doing that I'm constantly battling."
As the President of the Mine, Michelle Newbery helps her organization remain on the forefront of technology in the home design space. Her journey hasn't come without it's challenges, but a strategy of 'polite persistence' has made all of the difference. "It's really important to understand the 'why' behind the no," she says.
Amy Nelson raised money for her co-working space for women The Riveter while pregnant with her third child.Despite advice from others to hide her status from potential investors, she wanted to find the right people to be a part of the project. People should ask parents how their skills will help them in the workplace, she says.
"There are many times where I have found it hard to find my voice, to get heard, to get listened to," says Microsoft General Manager Megan Saunders, who works with 3D, Mixed Reality and other emergent technologies. Her message to the men of the world? "The one thing we really want is just to be seen as a person."
Progress has been made, but according to these leaders, there's much more to be done. By learning from their stories, the next generation of women who pursue tech, venture capital and entrepreneurship will be more prepared to take on the challenge.