One of the few areas of consensus of the panelists at yesterday’s trainwreck at TechCrunch Disrupted is that it would be better if there were more women involved with technology and tech startups. And everybody on the panel does a lot as individuals to help: mentoring, encouragement, being on unpleasant panels. I saw at least three female CEOs present as well in the startup battlefield, so shout outs to them as well — and to Hackathon Winner J’aime Ohm as well. So the first order of business is to spotlight them all as great examples of successful and inspirational women who have taken different paths to get there, and thank them for everything they do to help change the ratio.
What are you doing?
If you’re interested in doing more, the second installment of my series on Women in tech startups: how each of us can help change the ratio is up on the Northwest Entrepeneur’s blog. Part 1 discussed: Commit to putting some energy and resources into it, Mentor women, and Get out of your cultural cocoon. Part 2 covers Reach out when you’re hiring, Reach out even when you’re not hiring, and Ask “what’s wrong with this picture?”.
Hopefully Disrupt participants will find it useful. If you’ve got other suggestions, please leave them in the comments either there or here.
TechCrunch Disrupt isn’t the only conference happening this week. The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing kicks off on Tuesday in Atlanta, and this year’s theme is Collaborating across Boundaries. The keynote and plenary speaker list (including my former Microsoft colleague Rebecca Norlander, now an entrepreneur in residence at Illuminate Ventures) is an amazing contrast to the world of TechCrunch: all-female and diverse in multiple dimensions. There’s no streaming video, alas, but #ghc10 hashtag is already hopping; more details here.
It should be awesome.