INNOVATION: How To Get More Women in Tech and onto Boards. Panel at Octane’s Technology Innovation Forum Shares Experience and Advice…

The Women in Tech panel at Octane’s recent Technology Innovation Forum featured: 

  • Martha Daniel, CEO, IMRI
  • Doniel Sutton, former SVP, People, PayPal, current Chief People Officer, Fastly,
  • Roberta Swanson, VP, tax, Western Digital and also involved in Girl Scouts
  • Tammy Wong, CEO, Fostering Executive Leadership

Here are their thoughts:

Martha Daniel:

– get a business partner and investor

– get your own line of credit

– SBA loans

– reinvest in your company

– raise capital

– networking, which accelerated revenue, which enabled reinvestment

– girls need to see that not all jobs are making hard drives and coding – to be inspired to get into STEM, bring a full job listing of all jobs. We have to begin to educate them that there are career paths in tech that don’t necessarily be a “techie” or a “geek”. To see women in tech, that are not necessarily coders. Not knocking that. Just have to expose them to more opportunities, like a tax nerd:-)

Doniel Sutton:

– building an inclusive organization

– foster a sense of trust, open communication

– make sure everyone understands the values and mission of the company

– be intentional and diversify your strategies as a leader

– put mechanisms to pulse the messages and see how they’re resonating

Roberta Swanson:

– Girl Scouts of OC created a STEM consortium and asked tech companies in OC to join – with money and mentoring

Tammy Wong:

– only 19% of women are on public boards. That needs to be increased. We need to look at three areas –performance, image and exposure – 80% performance, 10% image and 10% exposure. We work with women and men to get on corporate boards – public boards, private boards and non-profit boards

– exposure – you need to be exposed nationally and internationally. Not only who you know and who knows you, but also having a mentor

– several orgs help women get onto boards:

Women Corporate Directors

Direct Women


About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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