To achieve as a woman – in any industry but perhaps more so in science and tech and startups – takes a unique combination of ambition, talent, grit and contortionism. To reach the top ranks or beat the odds of failure, you will likely have overachieved and hustled from a very young age. And you will have made trade-offs and sacrifices, bitten your tongue, caught lucky breaks, faced crushing setbacks, encountered special (often unlikely) champions and developed fine-honed strategies for productivity, logistics and self-care.
And you’ve probably been asked more than once to speak to varied audiences about your expertise, career and accomplishments. (These days, even more so as conveners everywhere have emphasized #shetoo). And you do it because it is an honor. And important. We need to showcase the leadership achievements of women and minorities; it’s the only way the numbers will change, both overall and in the decider/influencer ranks.
If you’re like me, you invariably get swarmed post-podium by members of the bright-eyed, badass next generation who need little advice about how to succeed in their careers. They are outshining us already. But they do want to be inspired by your experience and learn from your learnings.
And they also want to know: how do you do it, and still do YOU? How do you do it in fields that still lack women leaders? How do you juggle work and having a family? Can you get ahead without losing your health? Where and how do you find meaning and connection? Energy? Joy? And if you can’t or don’t, where do you make the tough choices?
And that’s how the WoVen Podcast was born. To share (at some scale) women’s stories about how they achieve and how they do life. We hope to produce a snackable collection of interviews and to spread motivation, ideas and honest reflections.
Laura, my co-conspirator in the tech and consumer practice at Canaan, and I are fortunate to be surrounded by extraordinary women (and men) in our professional networks and our communities. Our targets are numerous. And we both seem to have limitless interest in other people’s stories. We could literally interview all day long! To do it in a conversation – with no agenda but to connect and to celebrate another person – is beyond a privilege. We hope you welcome our first episodes and share your feedback. This is only worthwhile if it is worth your while. So please let us know what you think.
WoVen (Women of Venture) is a platform that fosters community and programming for women across the innovation ecosystem. WoVen represents women in venture capital, in venture-backed companies and other adventuresome women in healthcare, tech and business. Over the past few years, we have hosted events large and small to bring women together to connect, find inspiration and also just have fun. The podcast is our latest initiative. Take a listen to our first episode, featuring Doctor Odette Harris, neurosurgeon and professor at Stanford Medicine here. And, be sure to subscribe to the podcast for a new episode every two weeks.