Women are in the house

I went up to SF to speak with Shripriya Mahesh the founding parter of Spero Ventures. One of my favorite activities is speaking with a room of women about business, life, ideas and the future.

I got up there in the morning, took a cab to Shri’s house and went out for lunch at Rasa. A delicious Indian restaurant in downtown Burlingame. If you go, get a dosa. And for that matter, get the sliders too.

We spent the afternoon catching up. I have known Shri now about 15 years. Her career is what we will see more women doing in the years to come. She has done many things but what is worth noting is her years at EBay where she left, got married, had two kids and moved to NYC. There she decided to go to NYU film school and make a film. Eventually returning to SF and falling back into tech where she founded a fund spinning out of Omidyar Ventures. Have a career, find some time to do something you are passionate about and have a family. The modern woman.

That night we had a fireside chat in a room of investors and founders. Great questions and conversation. We also heard from Anne Dwane, Founding Partner, Village Global, Christine Tao, CEO and Founder Sounding Board, Sara Deshpande, Partner Maven Ventures and Tina Fitch, CEO (and farmer) Hob Nob.

All of these women are seriously impressive. Doing different things, talking and taking on different subjects and making their own impact. It is nights like this when I am able to talk to passionate women who are not taking no for an answer that I see change happening.

I learned that at the Women’s Entrepreneur Festival, that the power of having just women in the room allows all the walls to come down. We can talk freely about anything including how did you have a kid while running a business, where did you get those shoes, when do you find time to sleep and more. Supporting each other and applauding our paths is essential.

At Bethesda Chevy-Chase High school, this past week, a group of high school girls said no more. The girls discovered the “hot or not” list ranking that the boys did and said enough is enough. They pushed the principal to do something about it vs just a slap on the wrist.

There is growth in female writers, there is growth in women in politics here and abroad, there is growth of more women in the board room, there is growth of more men staying home to raise their kids and there is more growth in females financial worth making women the breadwinners. This is just gaining traction and steam.

I am not so sure this would have happened at BCC even a few years ago. As one of the girls said, this is not a moment, this is a movement. Based on what I am seeing, it certainly is.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Rohan

    Seeing this made me smile – thanks for sharing, Joanne! I’d seen your pic on Shri’s LinkedIn feed – she’s wonderful. Thank you for suggesting I meet with her. 🙂

  2. Semil Shah

    Rasa is LEGIT!

  3. Shripriya

    It was great to have you “in the house”. The room of women was very inspirational. Look forward to your SF visit next year 😉