To the next generation of leaders –
My Silicon Valley story almost didn’t happen. After growing up in an entrepreneurial family, I began my career in the male-dominated industries of media and banking in Canada and New York where I was rewarded for my aggressiveness. But, when I arrived in Silicon Valley, I was shocked to be told on my second day of work that I was “scaring the secretaries”. As a result, I was given increasingly diminishing responsibilities until six months later, I quit and almost left the Valley.
Fortunately, instead, I found my tribe. I joined the founders at a rapidly growing startup where I was given an incredible amount of responsibility running business development. Six months later, we were acquired by Amazon, and my career took off.
Years later, in 2015, Silicon Valley seemed stuck. There was a prevailing belief that the culture at tech startups wouldn’t change until we grew the pipeline of women in STEM. I saw the problem with a different lens. I knew if we put a woman on the board of every Series B company and beyond, we’d change the culture in Silicon Valley overnight.
So, I went to founders, CEOs and board directors, and crowdsourced a list of board-ready, exceptional women, and theBoardlist was born. Suddenly, instead of relying on their limited, and often, homogeneous networks, CEOs and board directors could access the limitless community of recommended female board talent.
theBoardlist started with women because there was, and frankly still is, an urgent need for gender parity in the boardroom. We’re not there yet but we are making progress. Our ultimate goal is to help companies create full and true representation in their leadership, so that they can better serve their customers, employees and communities. With that in mind, it is not only a natural extension for theBoardlist to include all underrepresented minorities, regardless of gender, but an imperative.
We’re debunking the “pipeline problem” myth. Whether you are an aspiring board director, looking for great board talent to join your board or know diverse candidates that you think boards should meet, we welcome you to join us in our mission.