Women don’t need to be fixed. It’s the industry that needs to change. That’s according to Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia, who addressed Silicon Republic’s Women Invent Meet-up in Dublin on Tuesday.
Astia’s mission is “to propel women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fuelling innovation and driving economic growth”.
Under Vosmek’s leadership, the Astia community of investors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders has grown, from 20 individuals in Silicon Valley, California, to more than 5,000 around the world today.
Addressing several hundred women (and men) at the Women Invent Meet-up, Vosmek explained that Astia has a much larger vision of the world.
“And that’s a world that is inclusive of and appreciative of, and supportive of – and really succeeds because of – men and women fully present and participant in, and able to contribute to, the innovation economy, and in particular to high-growth entrepreneurship,” she said.
“We do this work because we know it drives economic growth, but we also do it because it really is, from an investor perspective, a profound and real business reason,” she continued. “Companies that have both men and women on the founding team deliver higher returns to their investors.”
She suggested investors in the room write this down: “If they have women on the executive team or on the board, they have 60pc higher return on exit to their investors.”
Addressing herself to the women entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs in the room, she said: “You are at the ready. You really need to stop having people try to fix you through programmes and mentoring and all this stuff. You are ready now. Now is your time and this is your call to action. Firms need you because innovation needs you.”
Watch highlights of Sharon Vosmek’s keynote address at the Women Invent Meet-up here:
And check back later for more videos of her chat and Q&A with Silicon Republic editor-at-large Ann O’Dea – and lots more from the Women Invent Meet-up we held on 4 November in the Digital Exchange, Dublin, with support from BT Ireland.
Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland