Innovating Women: The Virtuous Circle, the Catbird Seat, and the Changing Face of Silicon Valley

Innovating Women: The Virtuous Circle, the Catbird Seat, and the Changing Face of Silicon ValleyI m really not sure who the intended audience for this book is I ve been an engineer in Silicon Valley for 30 years, but I m not it 1 This is like me reading a book about tying my shoes and since I ve been trying my shoes by myself for a bit, you re going to have to bring something new to the topic And they didn t Most of the essays in this book were very superficial 2 I interpret women in technology as engineers and scientists working with technology This book focuses on investors and venture capitalists, who are very smart business people, but most of them have never slept under their desks to get a product out the door.The subject is very topical The book was crowd sourced which is very 21st century But if you ve spent an hour thinking about the issue, you already know than is presented in the book. When I first met Vivek he had just produced his seminal research on the dearth of women in Silicon Valley that his wife s keen observation at TechCrunch had spurred The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur, published in November 2009, served as critical validation for much of what we intuitively knew and had already implemented at Astia The reality that Vivek uncovered is profound and serves as critical myth busting that women high growth entrepreneurs are like their male counterparts than different Armed with this understanding, Astia is about fixing the ecosystem, rather than fixing the women Our goal during our 15 years has been to change the way our ecosystem looks at and evaluates high potential organizations We stand with the contributors of Innovating Women when we say, we want recognition of and investment in a super potential and high performing group of entrepreneurs women entrepreneurs We see women leaders as integral participants in inclusive, high performing entrepreneurial teams without them, success is difficult Innovating Women brings voice to this and many other entrepreneurial truths It is a must read for the innovation economy an economy in desperate need of innovation.Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia From One Of Time Magazine S Forty Most Influential Minds In Technology Comes An Essential Collection Of Candid, First Hand Accounts Of Women In TechnologyWomen In Technology Are On The Rise In Both Power And Numbers, And Now It S Important Than Ever To Not Lose That Momentum, To Lean In And Close The Gender Gap Although They Make Up Half Of The Population, Only % Of Engineers In The United States Are Women They Take The Seeds Of Technological Advancement And Build Something Life Changing, Potentially Life Saving The Future Of Technology Depends On The Full And Active Participation Of Women And Men Working Together, And It Is Vital That Women Are Both Educated And Encouraged To Go Into The Tech Sectors Hailed By Foreign Policy Magazine As A Top Global Thinker, Professor, Researcher, And Entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa, Alongside Award Winning Journalist Farai Chideya, Set Out To Collect Anecdotes And Essays From Global Leaders, Sharing How Their Experiences In Innovative Industries Frame The Future Of Entrepreneurship With Interviews And Essays From Hundreds Of Women In STEM Fields, Including Google X VP Megan Smith, Venture Capitalist Heidi Roizen, Patriarch Partners CEO Lynn Tilton, And Entrepreneur And Technology Executive Kim Polese, Innovating Women Offers Fresh Perspectives On The Challenges That Women Face, The Strategies That They Employ In The Workplace, And How An Organization Can Succeed Or Fail In Its Attempts To Support The Career Advancement Of Women I began reading Innovating Women on a cross country plane ride and 4.5 hours later still couldn t put it down Vivek Wadhwa and Farai Chideya have done a phenomenal job of highlighting the inspiring stories of women of all ages and ethnicities across the globe While the nexus of all these stories is life in the tech sector, each has a different focus investing funding, entrepreneurship, work life trade offs, etc Situated between each story are smaller vignettes nudged against statistics and historical information that provide context for the trends we see around us today There are a growing number of articles and books about women in technology, but none of them provide as wide and varied a perspective as this one does The book s creation is itself an innovation Wadhwa and Chideya built much of it by crowdsourcing stories, research ideas and potential interviewees I was fortunate enough to find a request for participation early on and commented to a number of my colleagues about the collaborative, thoughtful and inspiring discussions I was having and reading about with other women The book captures the spirit of the organic and lively exchanges from the crowdsourcing platform Whether or not you are a woman in tech and science, or not even a woman at all, you ll find stories that resonate with you, that speak to your experience and to that of your peers If you re just getting started, read this for inspiration and also for the practical advice that can help you in your career. What an amazing book I was a crowdsource contributor to this project, and it s wonderful to see the end result The stories are from women all over the world, and not just Silicon Valley, so it s great to see a multiplicity of voices here.The writing is terrific I wasn t sure how the authors would pull all of these different perspectives together, but the text they produced is powerful The stories are inspirational There are lessons here for all of us both men and women, anyone who cares about developing effective, profitable technology businesses, with better outcomes for all of us If you re a founder, a VC, or somehow involved in the tech world, read this book It s worth your time. Reading Innovating Women has been like having dozens of intimate mentorship chats with leading woman I am a woman and have certainly faced my share of sexist otherwise inappropriate comments and behavior, both in science academia and in business, but I have been surprised by many of the challenges and issues that my fellow women entrepreneurs have faced and overcome It has been a great read, but it will remain in my life as a treasured resource It maintains an excellent balance of stories with relevant data and curated lists of resources for ambitious women including funding sources Now my challenge is to follow up on the insights and information I have gleaned and take action But where to start An awesome job So glad I was part of the development and so inspiring It offers women great advice on how and where to get funding for their start ups I can t wait for the inspiration this book will bring. This is a crowdsourced book and it shows I wanted to love it enough to give it five stars, but I had some issues with how it was put together.I do want to say that the stories in this book are great I enjoyed reading about women who have succeeded in diverse corners of the tech industry, who can serve as role models for girls and women who want to do the same I was already familiar with many of the stories and statistics because I make an effort to stay on top of them in the news and on twitter I thought the book did have the breadth it needed, and I did still learn a lot.What I had hoped for was a cohesive overarching storyline to pull it all together I remember reading Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and being really drawn in by the overall story and purpose of the book Innovating Women could have been that, but probably because of the crowdsourcing of the writing, felt like it went all over the place and didn t quite all pull together There were also points in the story that felt a bit like inside baseball , meaning that it felt like it was written for people already well versed in the terminology and structure of the tech and entrepreneurship industries, and I worry that it might not be totally accessible for women looking to get into tech for the first time However, having pointed out what disappointed me, I will say that this is a valuable collection of stories that needed to be documented and shared It is good coverage of the state of the system , while also being inspirational by showcasing women that have defied the odds and pointing out where improvements can be made.I think rather than a book, I see Innovating Women as being presented like a magazine tidbits of stats here, profiles of success there, essays of obstacles that had to be overcome, etc Not in a chicken soup for the soul style, but in of a collection of blog posts style.I may come back later and edit this review with specifics, but having just finished the book, I wanted to write something up while the feeling of it was still on my mind.So, I recommend this book to women and men who want to learn about what the tech industry is like for innovative females, especially entrepreneurs However, just be prepared to read of a magazine style collection of texts rather than a cohesive book that leaves you with a specific idea or action item There is something in there for everyone, so read it and have your eyes opened and your motivation increased This book is about innovation, and an innovative process was used to create it A lot of the content was crowd sourced I was one of hundreds of women who participated in telling our stories My involvement might bias my review a little bit, but to be honest, I didn t know what to expect Now, reading the book, I am blown away The individual stories are moving and inspirational It s very helpful to hear that other women struggled as much as I did with the male dominated technology field, but we succeeded nonetheless with persistence and creativity The extensive research and links to other articles keep the book from just being a feel good book, though The book discusses the dismal statistics regarding the shortage of women in technology and the research that explains how Silicon Valley became such a boys club.In addition to the individual stories and research results, the authors also recruited numerous well known female role models to tell their stories, including Google X VP and White House CTO Megan Smith, venture capitalist Heidi Roizen, and Anousheh Ansari, a serial entrepreneur and space explorer By publishing a book that showcases the words and work of successful women in tech, the authors are helping women learn strategies to overcome artificial barriers And by focusing on innovation, the book will help organizations learn how to benefit from the creativity and intelligence of all people, not just men.The book ends with An Ode to Women Like You Transforming the World by one of the two main authors, Farai Chideya Farai is not really a STEM person but she s a well known author She wrote an ode to us we women in tech You might cry when you read it I did It is beautifully written. Most of the Western world imagines the lone male inventor when thinking about innovation This image is a myth on two fronts the lone inventor and the male.Vivek Wadhwa and Farai Chideya invited women innovators to crowd create a book on women innovators, dispelling the myth of the male only innovator And they ve succeeded, fabulously Innovating Women is a collection of stories personal, powerful, inspiring, encouraging, disruptive, challenging stories of women who grabbed the status quo by the horns and threw it aside In full disclosure, I have a story in the book The stories include women from all over the world, in diverse sectors of STEM, like technology, investing, engineering, medicine, biology, as well as STEAM The stories, including one by America s new CTO and former VP at Google X Megan Smith, represent the authentic voices of women who have persevered, overcome, created, and innovated their careers and accomplishments Both women and men will learn from these innovators experiences and insights and apply them when fighting stereotypes, stigmas and artificial distinctions Companies and organizations will see how diversity of thought, experience, background and gender are critical for innovation and therefore success Innovating Women is a Must Read for women, men, girls, boys, teachers, leaders, managers, politicians, everyone Read it, share it, discover and enable stories so we can unleash the talent needed to solve the wicked problems facing our world Keep the stories coming.

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  • Paperback
  • 223 pages
  • Innovating Women: The Virtuous Circle, the Catbird Seat, and the Changing Face of Silicon Valley
  • Vivek Wadhwa
  • English
  • 22 March 2019
  • 9781626813830

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