Silicon Valley is no longer the domain of men because some of the best minds in tech are proving to be those of the female persuasion.
In the search for disruptive technologies and new ways to approach the same business issues, women are proving to be game-changers here in the Valley. That’s why it makes sense that you should consider putting more women on your board so that you can tap into their creativity, unique perspectives and pragmatic approach to business.
Sure, there are Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer and Meg Whitman, but there are 20 other women (and, some might argue, even more!) you'll want to put on your board of directors wish list who could give you the edge you might be missing. In honor of International Women's Day tomorrow (March 8), here they are:
Aarthi Ramamurthy: Ramamurthy is founder of Lumoid, a startup that lets people try out electronics before buying them. Before that, she co-founded True & Co., a bra-fitting company. Prior to becoming one of the Valley’s most well-respected female entrepreneurs, she worked at Microsoft for numerous years, developing software for Visual Studio and Xbox Live.
Ramona Pierson: Pierson is CEO of Declara, a social-learning startup that helps users get to the content they need. Her first startup was SynapticMash, which was sold in 2010 for $10 million. She is a serial entrepreneurial with significant business and life experience, including an advanced set of survival skills related to her recovery from a near-death car accident.
Ekta Sahasi: Sahasi is vice president of the U.S. Business Innovation Center (BIC) for Konica Minolta, in Foster City. Her organization partners with leading technology companies to create new solutions for Konica Minolta. She is an active investor in the Valley, coaching startups on how to expand into Asian markets and bridging the gap between Asian and U.S. companies.
Erin Berman: Berman is a storyteller and founder of Blackbeard Studios, a digital creative agency. She has worked with all types of Silicon Valley startups and multinational companies to help them develop a brand story and content strategy. Berman also serves as a mentor at established venture capital firms and accelerator programs in the Bay Area and in other countries.
Grace Garey: Carey is co-founder and head of marketing of Watsi, a charitable startup that lets people donate as little or as much as they like to all types of organizations around the world. She has worked all over the world on social causes and offers significant non-profit and business knowledge that would be of value to any Valley startup, including knowledge on how to raise significant investor funding.
Julia Hartz: Hartz is co-founder and CEO of Eventbrite of Eventbrite, one of the most successful online event planning and ticketing companies ever founded. Although she founded the company with her husband, she is a savvy businesswoman in her own right, driving many of the strategies, partnerships and funding deals associated with Eventbrite’s success.
Rose Broome: Broome is co-founder and CEO of HandUp, a socially-conscious startup directed at providing assistance for the homeless by giving them a crowdfunding platform where they can access funds to get back on their feet. The money is delivered to them through text or email so they can get off the streets. The company is also partnering with Tumml to address other social problems by providing funding to innovative people who have ideas for solving urban problems.
Ann Miura-Ko: Miura-Ko is co-founding managing partner of Floodgate, a venture capital firm that has provided investments for companies like Lyft, Taskrabbit and Refinery29. She teaches a class on big data at Stanford University and shares her expertise with graduate students. This knowledge could be beneficial for the boards of a wide range of Valley startups.
Brit Morin: Morin is founder of Brit+Co, a domestic-lifestyle brand that has garnered considerable funding to develop. She has been referred to as a millennial Martha Stewart and has showcased her ability to understand the new consumer demographic.
Michelle Zatlyn: Zatlyn is co-founder of CloudFlare, a company that has been helping build a global network to ease internet traffic and enable faster page-loading time, to boost everyone’s productivity. She founded the company with Matthew Prince and Lee Holloway in 2009, and the company has been steadily growing its leadership, to become a significant force in the tech industry.
Susan Wojcicki: Wojcicki is CEO of YouTube and has been the driving force behind its tremendous change and growth. She has added numerous innovations to YouTube and is tied into the social and marketing trends that are critical to a tech business platform that has to continually seek out ways to enhance revenue.
Kara Swisher: Swisher is co-CEO of Revere Digital and co-executive editor of Re/code, a tech media site that takes media to the next level and provides a revolutionary way to look at news reporting going forward. Her insights into the tech industry and the wide range of contacts she has within the Valley make her a valuable asset
Susan Feldman and . . .
. . . Ali Pincus: Think of Feldman and Pincus as a two-for-one special for your board. The two are co-founders as well as chief strategy officer and chief of merchandising, respectively, for One Kings Lane, one of the fastest-growing online home-décor companies. They have developed the company into one of the most popular online ecommerce sites, creating their very own unicorn, now valued at close to $1 billion.
Jess Lee: Lee is co-founder and CEO of Polyvore, a social-shopping site purchased by Yahoo. Influenced by Marissa Mayer during her time with Google’s associate product manager program, Lee has continued to expand the capabilities of Polyvore to further its growth. Her community-driven expertise would be an asset to any company looking to grow its user experience capabilities.
Stacy Brown-Philpot: Brown-Philpot is the CEO of TaskRabbit, a growing online company that has been gaining ground with its service-focused business. She is officially the first African American female CEO in the Valley, setting a precedent for the ongoing push for diversity in our tech community. While her company has had missteps, she took up the challenge, even in the face of criticism, to help it get back on its growth trajectory.
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy: Singh Cassidy is founder and CEO of Joyus and founder of theBoardlist. Bringing a real hustle mentality to the role of female entrepreneur in the Valley, she has proved that the tech industry can become more diverse. Her company, theBoardlist, actually helps companies and startups find women who can serve as independent directors on boards.
Bozoma Saint John: Saint John is head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes at Apple. Prior to joining Apple, she was with Beats Music and Pepsi, where she developed the company’s music and entertainment-marketing department. She has been integral in making positive changes to Apple Music, which have helped its resurgence.
Diane Bryant: Bryant is senior VP and general manager of the Data Center Group of Intel. Despite working in the PC market ,which is in decline, she has kept the company’s Data Center Group on the fast track to growth, with unique internet services and applications, such as autonomous cars, smart grids and drones. She is now helping the company focus on the internet of things (IoT) as its next revenue stream.
Diane Greene: Greene is founder of Bebop and senior VP of cloud businesses for Google. Her company, Bebop, was bought by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and Greene has been making changes within Google, enhancing Google for Work and creating a Global Alliance program. Her collaboration with customers is helping to change how the cloud is used, with new applications and benefits for businesses of all sizes.
Safra Catz: Catz is co-CEO of Oracle and is one of the highest-paid female executives. She has made considerable changes since Larry Ellison, Oracle’s founder and chairman, stepped down from his role as CEO. Catz has been an integral force in the company’s aggressive acquisition strategy, expanding its portfolio with a cloud-based energy-management company and a cloud-based company focused on the construction industry. She has easily stepped into some large shoes and filled them with her own talent, skill and leadership to help take Oracle to the next level.
Have you ever considered that you need a well-rounded board with distinct ideas thoughts and perspectives in order for your company or startup to achieve growth-hacking potential? Of course, gender is not the only route to achieve diversity, but it's a great start.Recruiting even one of these incredibly talented, smart and driven women to your board will be quite a challenge. But why not try?