I watched Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook on a TedTalk video discuss why we have too few females in technology. She theorized that one of the many reasons that their aren’t more women in technology is that as young girls we weren’t allowed or encouraged to play video games in the same way that boys are. Additionally, little boy brains tend to get more absorbed in “figuring” out the games than girls. That boys have a more natural curiosity to know how it works then girls do. Girls are fine to have fun playing the game. I’m obviously a huge Sheryl Sandberg fan and this talk really resonated with me.
Dustin has two great kids, Sasha and Peter. Both like to play video games but Peter definitely has a different intensity in front of the screen then Sasha. I’ve been observing in real life the distinction between how girls and boys interact with technology and I absolutely see a different form of engagement from Peter.
I really hope as we look ahead to ten years from now we see more females take greater leadership roles in the technology field. That’s why the Women 2.0 group caught my attention. Women 2.0 is a networking group whose mission is to increase the number of female founders of tech startups.
One of the monthly events they host is Founder Friday. It’s a free event open to aspiring and current entrepreneurs and like-minded women (and men) who are looking to network and share ideas with one another.
I recently attended my first Founder Friday in Los Angeles. It was a fun event with lots of great conversation. Each event features two guest speakers who share their story. This month it was Babette Pepaj, founder of BakeSpace, Inc (@BakeSpace) and Christine Kirk, Founder & CEO of Social Muse Communications (@LuxuryPRGal).
Both had interesting insights about having an idea and staying true to it. Babette overcame some early negativity about her website launch and kept pushing forward. She is self funded and spoke about why for her venture capital money was not appealing. Christine departed from the status quo of traditional PR to embrace social media and the new world of communications she believed would shape the future.
Founder Friday events happen across the country on the first Friday of each month. Check out the website to see if there is an event in your area. You don’t have to be a tech founder to get a lot out of networking with these people.
And if you have a little girl, encourage her to play video games… she could grow up to be the female Steve Jobs of her generation… go techy girls!