All Articles Tagged "african american women in tech"
Favorite website: pinterest
Recent read: Currently reading young adult author Tamora Pierce’s Mastiff
2012′s ultimate goal: To find my perfect city or town in the world and settle down in a unique and well-decorated home.
Quote that Inspires You: Stay calm and yoga on.
Twitter handle: @idealisticnomad, @girltankorg
Welcome to another hot profile. This one will be of particular interest to those who are interested in tech with a philanthropic, global twist. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Tara Roberts who is the co-founder of Girltank, a female-focused social start-up that supports young women entrepreneurs all over the world. But not just any entrepreneurs – women who are making a difference the world over. Girltank, along with their partners, MTV Voices, have launched their ’10,000 Names campaign’ to find 10,000 young women game changers. Tara’s journey and drive make for great reading and great encouragement. Here we go!
LdC: How were you lead to start Girltank?
TR: I traveled around the world for almost a year in 2009 and 2010 interviewing young women changemakers. My original plan was to write a book about the great work they were doing. But after talking to so many young women, I realized that there was, perhaps, a more pressing need. No global body connected these young women changemakers to each other. And I discovered that many felt alone, unprepared and unsupported in their work. So I decided to begin building a global community of young women changemakers who could help support each other.
LdC: Tell me all about how you found out about Start Up Chile, with which Girltank is affiliated, and what it is like there?
TR: My partner, Sejal Hathi, heard about it, and so we decided to apply. Start-up Chile is great – full of enterprising, innovative and supportive entrepreneurs from all over the world. Santiago is a burgeoning entrepreneurial hub, so as an entrepreneur you feel like you can do anything here. It’s been an amazing and eye-opening experience.
LdC: Explain the response to the work that you are doing?
TR: Phenomenal. We have discovered young women changemakers from over 76 countries worldwide. It’s inspiring to hear their stories and to see the creative and unexpected ways in which they connect with and support each other.
LdC: What advice do you have for other women looking to help support other females via digital ventures?
TR: Join girltank! Seriously, lots of new entrepreneurs are concerned with other people stealing their ideas, but many wonderful things happen if you share your ideas and use your skills and talents to help others. You’ll get a lot further a lot faster.
Time for another “Behind the Click” profile already? You betcha! This time I am placing the spotlight on a fellow tech colleague named Shellye Archambeau. Shellye is CEO at a company called MetricStream which is one of the top GRC (governance, risk management, and compliance) solutions companies in Silicon Valley. The company includes among its client list such corporations as Pfizer, Kellogg’s, American Airlines and NASDAQ. But this position is just the latest stop in a string of tenure success stories that also includes a stint at IBM. Shellye shares with us inspiration and experience from the tech front lines as an African-American female.
Favorite website: amazon.com
Favorite read: The Economist magazine
Recent read: Tribal Leadership
2012′s ultimate goal: Encourage people to thrive on risk, not shy away from it
Quote that Inspires You: “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” - Oprah Winfrey
Twitter handle: @shelarchambeau
LdC: I saw via your bio that you are a fellow Ivy Leaguer. How did you enjoy U.Penn?
SA: I applied to U. Penn to attend Wharton Undergrad. I wanted the business education in undergrad so I wouldn’t have to go to Grad school. I was trying to optimize time and money. I enjoyed my experience.
LdC: What lead to your interest in business and what was it like at Wharton?
SA: In high school I got involved in clubs and organizations and found that I enjoyed leading and was good at it. I was told that leading clubs was similar to leading teams in business. I enjoyed being President of different student organizations, so I set my sights to be CEO of a business.
LdC: I also read that you were the former head of Blockbuster’s e-commerce division. How did you obtain your former position at Blockbuster and what was that like?
SA: I was recruited to Blockbuster, where I became President of Blockbuster.com, from IBM. The CIO of Blockbuster, who was a former IBM customer of mine reached out to me. We had stayed in touch over the years and he knew of the innovative work I’d done at IBM leveraging the Internet to grow sales as well as my general management skills and experience.
This was back in the late ’90s and everything related to the Internet was exploding. It was an exciting time to build and work with a great team to launch the first Blockbuster.com business site.
Madame Noire is back with the first profile of the year in my Women in Technology series. I’m kicking this one off with a individual who wears a couple of hats, each very special. Welcome to the world of Monique Woodard; an entrepreneur of a mobile company for lifestyle apps called Rebelle as well as the co-founder of a networking organization called Black Founders for Black tech professionals. I had the opportunity to catch up with the Florida-raised entrepreneur and wanted to share the thoughts of my colleague in the tech space, so here we go!
LDC: You started your career dealing with brand strategy. What led you to your interest in brands and consumer behavior?
MW: I started my career at a brand naming agency, leading projects for companies like Starbucks, Avon, and Bayer. So that’s probably where my interest in brands started. Since then, I’ve worked in e-commerce product marketing and became deeply involved in what makes consumers act — specifically online. Now, when brands are entering our personal lives more than ever and touching our lives at so many different points — web, social, mobile — I think it’s interesting to see how brand loyalty is influenced by consumer interaction with a brand outside of strictly commercial channels.
LDC: What inspired you to start this new venture of yours, Rebelle?
MW: Rebelle is a mobile app company for lifestyle apps that touch the ways you shop, engage with fashion, and entertain yourself. I’ve always been interested in fashion and lifestyle. I once ran a fashion blog. My goal with Rebelle is to continue to create web and mobile experiences that people love. Our first app, Speak Chic, is a mobile app that helps you correctly pronounce fashion brands. If you’ve ever stumbled over ‘Christian Louboutin’ or heard someone mispronounce ‘Versace’ (‘pass that Versazy’), then you know how potentially embarrassing that can be. This app helps you avoid that. Speak Chic will be available in the Apple App Store on January 24 and will be followed up later in 2012 with a fashion gaming app.
LDC: What did you think of the Black in America CNN special that recently ran about the African-American challenge in Silicon Valley?
MW: Black in America put a much-needed spotlight on many of the issues around diversity in Silicon Valley, but more importantly, it highlighted a group of entrepreneurs who were stretching toward something really positive. Some of that was lost in people getting caught up in one or two controversial sound bites. Angela Benton and Wayne Sutton did an excellent job with the first class of NewMe Accelerator and you can already see companies like BeCouply and Central.ly using it as a launchpad to create sustainable businesses.
However, Silicon Valley has always had a small but well-connected group of black executives and entrepreneurs who have been in Silicon Valley for quite a while and could have given a perspective that was missing from the piece. If you want a true picture of black people in Silicon Valley, then those voices should be part of the conversation.
LDC: What are plans for “Black Founders” for 2012?
MW: Last year (2011) was a year of Black Founders testing and refining our programming to determine what black entrepreneurs need most and 2012 is going to be the year of expanding those programs so that more people can take advantage of them. Sponsors are working with us on a college tour to expose students to Silicon Valley startups and internship programs and we are working on a major program that will give entrepreneurs outside of the Bay Area a chance to benefit from the programs that we’ve built.
Black Founders will be speaking at South by Southwest leading the panel “Pay-it-Forward: Building Successful Startups” and we’ve also been invited to attend TED — a conference for “the world’s leading thinkers and doers”. We’re incredibly inspired to see how many people and organizations have embraced our message and want to work with us on this movement to connect and create more successful black tech entrepreneurs.
(Black Enterprise) — Huffington Post recently put together an impressive list of Women in Tech You Need to Follow on Twitter, showcasing some of the most dynamic women on the Web. We applaud their accomplishments and the doors they have opened for women, not only on the microblogosphere but also in boardrooms and in the minds of venture capitalists. Unfortunately, of the 27 women listed, only two—Jenny Deluxe and Ory Okolloh—were Black digerati. The reality is there are many exceptionally remarkable Black women advancing technology and forming networks where women of all races can be mentored to become digital media iconoclasts.