More women need to become visible role models for other women if they are to achieve gender parity in all aspects of STEM, said Julia Hartz, president and co-founder of Eventbrite.
At Silicon Republic’s Women Invent Meet-up in Dublin last night, Hartz spoke of the great feedback she received following last June’s Female Founders Forum and this year’s opening of Eventbrite’s Dublin office, which has already established itself as one of the company’s fastest-growing offices.
However, when it comes to championing greater parity between men and women regarding careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), and even executive positions across the board for that matter, more needs to be done to show women it is crucial they get their message heard.
Speaking from her own perspective as someone who had at one point been the youngest, and only female, on her team at the US TV channel FX, she said her thoughts and ideas were often ignored but picked up by her male colleagues who passed them off as their own.
‘It took time to see I was a role model’
This too played into Hartz’s own perception of what it means to be a role model. She said it took her some time to actually realise her ability to be a role model.
“I have to admit I didn’t feel (that I was a role model) until a couple of years after I had established a company of a certain size which could give me the opportunity to be a model for women,” Hartz said.
She went on to describe how her time in FX had taught her that her fear of speaking up in a male-dominated team showed the need for more women to actually take the initiative and want to stand out from the crowd, and to show other women there is no need to be critical of themselves.
“We’re not doing all we can to be visible role models. You have to realise how important it is to put yourself out there as there are so many women who are badass but they don’t want to deal with criticism and the downside of being in the public life and being a role model.”
Women Invent Meet-up discussion with Julia Hartz – Part 1:
Women Invent Meet-up discussion with Julia Hartz – Part 2:
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