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How Four Female VCs Triumphed In Male-Dominated Silicon Valley

The reputation of Silicon Valley as a bastion of testosterone is by now well-established, and award-winning journalist Julian Guthrie decided it was time to tell a new story—one with a little more estrogen. In her new book, Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took On Silicon Valley’s Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime, Guthrie explores the complicated lives of female VCs through the eyes of four resilient characters. She traces their trajectories—how they’ve dealt with victories and defeats, the ways they’ve juggled work and family, how they’ve coped with sexist attitudes—to get where they are today. They were among the first investors and founding board members of startups that would go on to become the giants of Silicon Valley.

The book takes us through the achievements of Magdalena Yeşil, who helped Marc Benioff grow Salesforce; Mary Jane Elmore, one of the first women to make partner at a U.S. venture firm; Theresia Gouw, who helped build major companies like Facebook and Trulia; and Sonja Perkins, one of the first female partners at Menlo Ventures, where she invested in such companies as McAfee and Hotmail.

Samantha Todd: What gave you the idea for Alpha Girls?

Julian Guthrie: I was on tour for my last book, How to Make a Spaceship, spending a lot of time with entrepreneurs and engineers. I began to ask myself: Where are all the women in these really important and dynamic industries? Although I’d worked at the San Francisco Chronicle for 20 years, I didn’t know there was such a disparity as there is today. I started to look into tech for some kind of hidden figures, some really dynamic women who had great narratives and whose stories hadn’t been told.

I came across this figure that 94% of all check-writing VCs are men. But who is the remaining 6%, who are the women? I wanted to know what the world looks like for them, what it’s like being pretty much the only woman in the room, the only woman chasing after certain deals.

Todd: And what about today? Do you think things have changed in Silicon Valley at all?

Guthrie: With the #MeToo movement, there were all these bad guys who were outed in all these different industries, including tech, and there was a great spotlight that was shined on equity. Now you see these really strong groups like All Raise and Broadway Angels and these all-women investing platforms and political advocacy groups. I see these really promising pockets across the country where women who had climbed their way up that VC ladder and had gotten to partner, to general partner. Many are now starting their own firms.

Todd: But it’s not all good news everywhere, is it?

Guthrie: You look across industries, whether it’s home building or architecture or law or medicine or advertising, and women in the top ranks only represent between 5% and 20%. The progress across these industries has really stalled—it’s hard to imagine that we’re at this place in time and there’s still so much underrepresentation.

Todd: Tell me about the term “alpha girl.” What does that mean exactly?

Guthrie: An alpha girl is someone who goes from navigating to pioneering in whatever field, somebody who seizes an opportunity that’s difficult and persists and finds a way to thrive.

Todd: How did you arrive at the book’s title?

Guthrie: At first I had the Alpha Girls Club. I like the word “girls” because even as women, we can be girls. I think the girl should embody boldness and strength and compassion. Strength combined with girls—I love that equation. Alpha Girls is being adapted for a TV series, and a lot will be changed, with the story fictionalized, but Alpha Girls will remain as the title.

Todd: In the book you talk about how your reporting was already under way when the #MeToo movement began, but that it affected your reporting. Can you discuss that?

Guthrie: These women have to work with the guys, and they have to network. More men have honestly gotten behind this movement, this need, this call to action. #MeToo had a good effect, but there’s a flip side as well. It’s something like 60% of men who were recently surveyed in Silicon Valley in tech said that they won’t have a one-on-one meeting with a woman. They won’t mentor a woman, they won’t have closed-door meetings one-on-one, they won’t do offsite things. And that’s terrible.

Todd: If readers take away one idea from your book, what would you like it to be?

Guthrie: I would say that tech and venture capital are amazing careers for women and more women need to be in this industry that is shaping our future. An alpha girl shows how it can be done, but it’s a dynamic industry, and women should be getting into it in stronger numbers and playing a big role in shaping the future.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

I serve as an assistant editor on the Leadership team at Forbes. Previously, I interned with the Echoes-Sentinel and The Bernardsville News where I covered local news and events. I was editor-in-chief of The Setonian, Seton Hall University’s student-run and award-winning newspaper.

Source: How Four Female VCs Triumphed In Male-Dominated Silicon Valley

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A 29-Year-Old Woman Is Now Running The Momofuku Restaurant Empire

When Marguerite Mariscal started interning for Chef David Chang in 2011, Momofuku was about to open up in Australia. Toronto came next, and with all the momentum, the budding restaurant group then took on funding from outside investors for the first time.

Soon after, Chang recalls, “there was a lull.” An era of “complacency” ensued. His next big project—Nishi, a take on Italian food made solely with Asian ingredients—opened in 2016. What Chang calls “a real painful moment” followed. The New York Times wrote that Chang’s usual magic was showing “a little wear.”

“It was, honestly, all my fault. I wasn’t a good enough leader, and I didn’t prepare us to be successful. I wasn’t doing my job. I was, quite frankly, all over the place. It was fear of change, fear of growing up, fear of taking chances,” Chang recalls. “I had thought that what’s good for me is going to be good for the company. And I swore to myself that I was never going to do that again.”

But Chang says Mariscal worked tirelessly against it, proving herself during hard times. She hopped on the line to prep before service, worked the door at private events without being asked and helped out when the in-house reservation system wasn’t working. “She’s probably the most respected employee we have in the whole company, because there is nothing that she won’t do herself, if needed. You can’t say that for a lot of people. You just really can’t,” Chang says. “As she got promoted and had more and more say, I realized she understands Momofuku better than me sometimes, maybe more. She’s seen the highs, and she’s seen the very lows.”

Now Chang is stepping aside to focus on media and work with Momofuku’s next-generation chefs, along with spending more time with his newborn son. And Mariscal, a New York native and member of the iconic Zabar’s family, will become Momofuku’s first official CEO at just 29 years old.

“I’m not tasked as being a steward of the brand. Dave wants me to basically be a custodian of change. He wants to make sure that I’m the person who is making sure that we’re moving forward,” says Mariscal, who was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 food and drink list in 2018. “If I don’t, if things don’t change, if we progress on the kind of trajectory that we are now, that’s failure.”

Chef David Chang brings his ramen to Toronto in 2012.

Chef David Chang brings his ramen to Toronto in 2012.

Toronto Star via Getty Images

Previously Momofuku’s creative director and chief of staff, Mariscal is now in charge of an empire that includes 14 locations, from critically acclaimed Majordomo in Los Angeles to the revamped Noodle Bar location recently opened on New York’s Upper West Side. There’s a new, potentially scalable, concept, too: a Momofuku-inspired Asian convenience store called Peach Mart, with a new flagship inside the shops at Hudson Yards. (And it’s Hudson Yards’ billionaire developer Stephen Ross who backs RSE Ventures, the owner of a minority stake in Momofuku. There are also some other small private investors.)

“For us to grow, the most Momofuku thing is to break with what we are already doing, not try to distill it and franchise it. It’s really figuring out how do you scale without losing what made Momofuku successful in the first place, but at the same time, knowing what made us successful is not going to work moving forward,” Mariscal adds.

She is also taking charge of Momofuku’s growing consumer packaged goods business, which started selling its own Korean chili Ssam Sauce in select Whole Foods locations in 2015. Last year, Momofuku’s partner Kraft Heinz initiated a relaunch, and it now can be found in 3,800 locations nationwide, as well as Amazon. Momofuku says sales increased 38 times from 2017 to 2018 but declined to provide specific figures.

Mariscal says the company is already planning to launch two more products: a fermented chickpea paste called Hozon, featured in Nishi’s signature ceci e pepe, and Bonji, the soy sauce alternative made from fermented grains, not soybeans. Momofuku has previously sold these to other restaurants and distributors but never to customers.

“It was proven really early on to me that Momofuku was a meritocracy. There really isn’t a lot of red tape,” Mariscal says. “We encourage people to come in, learn the systems and then make recommendations as to how to make it better. We have no sacred cows.”

Follow Chloe on Twitter and Instagram.

I cover all things food and drink as a staff writer at Forbes, from billionaires and ag tech startups to CPG entrepreneurs and wine.

Source: A 29-Year-Old Woman Is Now Running The Momofuku Restaurant Empire

Meet The Woman Turning The Payday Loan Industry On Its Head

It’s the early 2000s and Ennie Lim is what creditors refer to as credit invisible. Despite touting a bachelors degree from a prestigious university in Montreal and logging several years of work experience in the US working for San Fransisco nonprofits, Lim has no history with any of the US banking institutions and therefore is unable to get approved for any of the major credit cards. Working in Silicon Valley, her funds are understandably tight and once she goes through a divorce – in spite of the fact that she was working a good job with a steady income – she finds herself unable to afford San Francisco rent prices.

Source: Meet The Woman Turning The Payday Loan Industry On Its Head

How Two Millennial Women Made Over $130,000 While Traveling the World Full-Time

 

Last year, I left my corporate life in New York City behind in a vow to give myself one year to design my dream job. Shortly thereafter, I took off on a 9-month-long social experiment, in which I would circumnavigate the globe by couch-surfing exclusively through my social network. Seventeen countries, four continents, and over a hundred encounters later, I have learned that I am not alone in my quest to earn a living while traveling the world: there are so many people out there right now who are making it work.

Source: How Two Millennial Women Made Over $130,000 While Traveling the World Full-Time

43% Of #MeToo Replacements Are Women. Is That Enough – Ruthie Ackerman

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This week the New York Times reported that 43% of the powerful men brought down by #MeToo were replaced by women and the internet went wild. Of the 124 replacements for 201 positions, 54 were given to women and 70 to men. Seventy-seven jobs are still vacant. What at first seems surprising is that the Times has applauded the fact that “nearly half” of the replacements were women. Yet we’re only talking about 43%. Why so few? Is that really good enough? Isn’t now the time for these companies to elevate women’s leadership? Why not at least 50%?………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ruthieackerman/2018/10/25/43-of-metoo-replacements-are-women-is-that-enough/#47f567962736

 

 

 

 

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3 Top Women in Business in India — When Women Inspire

Indian women have come a long way from the times when their rightful place was only only seen as within the home. These 3 women in business in India are making waves, and here’s why.

via 3 Top Women in Business in India — When Women Inspire

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Franchise Business Ownership Among Women and Minorities Hits Record Levels

Women and Minorities Franchise Owners Statistics at Record Levels

The number of franchise businesses owned by women and minorities has never been higher in the U.S.That’s the big finding in a report commissioned by the International Franchise Association.

The IFA published the results of the report, called the Minority and Gender Ownership Study. PricewaterhouseCoopers partnered with the IFA to produce the study, an analysis conducted of the 2012 Survey of Business Owners.

Women and Minorities Franchise Owners Statistics

According to the study, 30.8 percent of franchise businesses in 2012 were owned by minorities. That represents a significant jump from five years before, in 2007. Back then, just 20.5 percent of franchise businesses were minority owned.

By comparison, just 18.8 percent of non-franchise businesses are owned by minorities.

“The franchise business model has solidified its place in our economy as a stable job producer and opportunity engine. Franchising is uniquely situated to create serious economic opportunity in local communities by generating employment and ownership opportunities for those who need them most,” says IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti.

“This report demonstrates how the franchise business model is already working to meet the future challenges of a rapidly growing and diversifying franchise sector with shifting demographics, instituting a business model that achieves a dream for hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

The data shows Hispanic-owned franchise businesses are growing the fastest. In 2007, 5.2 percent of franchise businesses were owned by Hispanics. By 2012, that total doubled to 10.4 percent. Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians were more likely to own a franchise business than a non-franchised business.

Asians own the most franchise businesses among all minority groups included in this new report. The study says Asians own 11.8 percent of franchise businesses. Meanwhile, African-Americans own 8 percent of the franchise businesses in the U.S.

The same report examined the rise of women-owned franchise businesses in 2012. The report shows 30.6 percent of franchise businesses are women-owned. That figure is up from 20.5 percent just five years before that, a 50 percent increase.

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