Meet the women at the front lines of today’s digital revolution.
With exclusive access to some of the most intriguing female entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders in Silicon Valley and beyond, Geek Girl Rising takes you inside the lives of the women disrupting “business as usual” across the nation’s vibrant tech scene. With a nod to trailblazers like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, veteran journalists Cabot and Walravens profile the next generation of women fighting at the grassroots level for an ownership stake in the revolution that’s changing the way we live, work and connect to each other. These women are going for it– building tech start-ups, investing in each other’s ventures, crushing male hacker stereotypes, creating networks of support and rallying their younger sisters.
Readers will meet Debbie Sterling, inventor of GoldieBlox, the first engineering toy for girls, which topples the notion that only boys can build. They’ll get a peek inside YouTube sensation Michelle Phan’s ipsy studios, where she is grooming the next generation of digital video stars while leading her own mega e-commerce beauty business. They will sit down with Tracy Chou, former lead software developer at Pinterest, whose public urging in late 2013 helped push Silicon Valley tech giants to reveal the tiny number of women in their ranks, propelling the “women in tech” conversation to front pages. They will tour the headquarters of The Muse, the hottest career site for millennials and meet its intrepid CEO, Kathryn Minshew, who stared down sexism while raising millions of dollars to fund the company she co-founded. And they will journey around the country to meet a new crop of female investors, including Theresia Gouw and Kathryn Finney, who are infusing women-led tech start-ups with much needed capital.
These women are the rebels proving that a female point of view not only matters in the age of technology, but can rock big returns on investment. At a time when women hold a quarter of computing jobs in the U.S. and make up a fraction of the entrepreneurs launching new tech companies, their stories show that in today’s fast-moving innovation economy, there is a place for anyone who has a big idea and the passion to build it.
Why is this important?
Technology fuels the global economy and is creating jobs faster than the industry can fill them. Yet women, who make up half of the population and are responsible for 85% of consumer purchasing decisions, hold only a small minority of seats on corporate boards and engineering teams, as well as in C-suites and venture capital firms. The numbers tell the story:
- Just 2.7 percent of venture capital-funded companies have a woman CEO. (1)
- 94% OF VCS are male and mostly white. (2)
- Diversity data from Google, Yahoo and Facebook reveal that women hold, on average, a mere 16% of the tech jobs. (3)
- 56% of women in technology drop out mid-career. (4)
- Only 18% of undergraduate computer science degree recipients today are women — a number that’s dropped from a high of 37% in 1985. (5)
A Call to Action
Despite the disheartening statistics, there is hope. The book is a call to action for women to think big and act bold, to not allow the obstacles that lie in their path to stop them from achieving their goals, and to create a roadmap to success for others to follow.Geek Girl Rising invites women everywhere to join the digital revolution and create the future.
- Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital,” Diana Report, Babson College, September 2014.
- Self-reported numbers, documented by Tracy Chou in a public Google Docs Spreadsheet.
- Women in IT: The Facts, NCWIT, April 2010.
- Degrees and Other Formal Awards Conferred, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Higher Education General Information Survey, 2013.