Like almost everyone in San Francisco, Eileen Carey moved there to start her own business. And like every other Bay Area CEO, she met her co-founder online.
“Lauren [Mosenthal] and I both moved to San Francisco…to start our own company,” Carey told Femsplain earlier this year. “We connected on the Internet via a mutual friend and got together to talk about all our ideas. And from there we decided to start the research.”
That research was for Glassbreakers.co, which celebrated its first birthday this month. Billed as “Mentorship for the modern woman,” Glassbreakers offers individual and enterprise solutions to tech’s pipeline problem.
The Glassbreakers consumer app uses algorithms to introduce women with common career goals (disclosure: I am a member). Users can connect through the Glassbreakers platform, then pursue offline mentorships as needed. So if a twenty-something product manager in DC wants to learn more about venture capital, she can use Glassbreakers to connect with an experienced VC and learn more about the business. Matches can either occur online to transcend distance or in person based on geography.
But that online platform is just the beginning. To celebrate their first year in business, Carey and Mosenthal announced that they will launch an enterprise software solution for diversity next year. They saw that big businesses spent $8 billion on diversity initiatives in 2013 — yet none of that money went towards software solutions. Carey — who earned her BA at the University of Maryland — and Mosenthal want to help diversity divisions measure and scale their impact.
All of these efforts point towards a high level goal — to make the c-suite a 50/50 split between men and women. It’s the same reason why Flip the Ratio exists; without conscious efforts to make tech more inclusive, there is little hope that current numbers will improve.
That’s why Flip the Ratio is honored to name Glassbreakers its digital partner. In the week leading up to Flip the Ratio this Friday, Glassbreakers will promote the event through its own online networks.
They are strong networks full of true trailblazers. The Glassbreakers community is 12,000 strong. And its co-founders have raised $1 million from some of tech’s most successful women, including Jocelyn Goldfein (Facebook’s former engineering director) and Susan Kimberlin (Salesforce’s former product marketing director).
Glassbreakers is also inviting us to share lessons learned from this weekend on their blog. If you plan to attend Flip the Ratio and want to share your experience, reach out to Bridget at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re a woman in a large enterprise, you can sign up to help Glassbreakers with its UX testing via Skype or Google Hangout next month.
Flip the Ratio is honored to partner with one of tech’s most inclusive initiatives. We hope this is the start of a long term partnership to accomplish the shared goal of a more equal workforce.
We also believe in the power of technology to turn shared online interests into offline mentorships. And we know that the more united our networks are, the better chance we have to smash the glass ceiling.
Glassbreakers and Flip the Ratio are both ideal ways to learn more about different areas of tech, from back end development to product marketing. You don’t need to have all the answers; you only need to take the first step towards connecting with mentors whom you can learn from.
Haven’t bought your Flip the Ratio ticket yet? Sign up here.
Startup Weekend DC is joining Up Global’s Startup Women challenge to help create 1,500 female-led startups this year.
In startup fashion, we decided to do more and talk less by producing the first ever women’s edition of Startup Weekend DC with a goal to flip the typical overwhelmingly male heavy ratio at such events. We realize that in startups balanced teams that can execute are important to success, so this event isn’t gender exclusive but rather inclusive. This event will connect people, experience and ideas, and act as a viaduct where leaders, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can innovate and build a venture together in 54 hours. This is a grassroots step towards reshaping the male heavy presence prevalent in startup culture. We hope to welcome more female leaders into the DC entrepreneurial community.
You may ask why DC? Besides having some of the most educated, ambitious, and confident women in the nation, DC was been recognized as one of the top 3 cities for women entrepreneurs. Women led businesses are on the rise and so the choice to startup at the nation’s capital was natural.
To help make this unique event become a reality, we’ve partnered with our local platinum sponsor Booz Allen Hamilton (who has partnered with 1776, a DC based startup incubator, to help spur innovation and solve difficult client challenges by working with startups on a global scale). Our venue partners, 1776 and General Assembly, are also very supportive of this cause to make this event a reality. Blackstone Charitable Foundation is our silver corporate sponsor in this cause via UP Global.
Over the next few days we will share some startup stories from women Startup Weekend DC alumni that have founded startups, and details on the event. Also we’ll spotlight how companies at different sizes and technology are helping drive change at scale. Be part of this movement. Stay tuned. Join us to empower the startup community and innovators in DC and beyond.
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More about Booz Allen Hamilton:
Booz Allen Hamilton is committed to creating an environment where talented women in technology can build exceptional careers. With great excitement, Booz Allen joins 1776 and Startup Weekend DC to empower the next women leaders in technology and women entrepreneurs. Booz Allen is a leading provider of global management consulting, technology, and engineering services to major corporations, institutions, not-for-profit organizations and the U.S. government. As part of its partnership with 1776, it is tackling global-scale problems by working with startups and entrepreneurs.
More about The Blackstone Charitable Organization:
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has awarded grants made through the Blackstone Organizational Grants Program, an annual program targeting organizations that focus on fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, now in its second year. Through this program, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is helping innovative organizations pilot, expand or replicate projects or programs that will catalyze the growth of successful businesses, industries, and communities in their regions.
Springboard Enterprise – An expert network of innovators, investors and influencers dedicated to helping building high-growth technology-oriented companies led by women.
iStrategyLabs – A digital creative agency “that invents solutions online and off” based in DC and NYC.
Overachiever Media – A content marketing firm helping businesses create and communicate better.
Community Partners that helping us spread the word on this unique event (and growing):
DCFemtech – DCFemTech is a collective of 25+ Women in Tech organizations in the DMV. Next big event is a Tour de Code for the month of October: 101 sessions and workshops on a variety of languages and topics in development to help beginners learn how to code and design. Follow @DCFemTech for updates.
Fosterly – A DC community of entrepreneurs, creators, and collaborators. Check out the Collaborate Conference January 23 – 24, 2015 where innovators in entrepreneurship, government and technology converge. Follow @Fosterly for updates.
Femworking – Helping build teams of female entrepreneurs that inspire each other to thrive.
Ladies America – A professional society of women helping women.
DC Tech Meetup – #DCTech