Galvanize and #40Forward Moving the Needle for Women in Tech

In an industry where just 3% of tech start-ups are led by women*, it can be tough to bump into other women in tech, let alone find other female mentors. Galvanize, in partnership withGoogle for Entrepreneurs, is looking to change that. #40Forward is a challenge Google for Entrepreneurs has issued to 40 startup communities around the world to increase participation by women by 25% this year.

We know the data tells us a lot of favorable stats when it comes to women in tech. Women-led private technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieving 35% higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bring in 12% higher revenue than male-owned tech companies.** Diverse teams also make better decisions and have higher IPOs. And yet, we’re still at 3% female leadership. So what’s keeping the other 97% of women out of leading tech start-ups?

“As a 39-year-old woman with 2 kids,” notes Lara Dawson (Galvanize Member and Partner/COO at Secure Ideas), “I sacrificed a lot for my family by starting-up. But my business partner and I worked together previously at another company and we thought we could do it better. So here we are: doing it better.”

That hard work and dedication doesn’t go unnoticed. “Lara is a 360-role-model for me,” says coworker Aindree Novak, “The way she manages being a leader in the industry, but shows me the ways in which it’s possible to have a family as well. I don’t think she always envisioned herself starting a company, but I could see myself doing so because of her leadership.”

Galvanize is encouraging mentorships like Lara and Aindree through our new #40Forward facilitated lunch series. Bringing together the women of Galvanize for monthly discussions on topics relevant to their lives and businesses, “I hope I will gain a stronger cohort,” says Lara, “a group where I know I can look to other women I’m close with for leadership, collaboration and support.”

Whether a tech veteran like Lara, or a newbie to the industry, our goal is to provide an environment of co-learning for all Galvanize women. “As photographers-turned-entrepreneurs, you can imagine how difficult it is to navigate the tech space and still remain steel-focused on the voice and vision of our company,” says Katie Thurmes, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer behind Artifact Uprising – a design-forward, eco-friendly photo book company based in Denver. “Programs like #40forward and the very friendships we’ve found in the Galvanize community remind us we’re not alone. You know, there are days you just feel as though you’re making it up. We’re all making it up – in a brave, beautiful, important way. That’s what matters.”

As we open new campuses across the country, Galvanize and the #40Forward programming will grow to connect women in both their local community and in our larger Galvanize family. We’ll also be offering women-focused events and learning opportunities.

Want to get involved? Complete our survey and receive updates on upcoming #40Forward activities.

Let’s move #40Forward!