Our new events intern meets female entrepreneurs from around the world and reflects on the power of women networking together. By Guneet Kaur (Events Intern, Women 2.0)
Last week, a group of female entrepreneurs from all over the world visited Women 2.0 to get an internal look at the work of our organization and to take advice on how to solve some of the ongoing problems in their countries, particularly relating to the underrepresentation of women in business. And I, as an intern, had the opportunity to sit in on this meeting.
The U.S. State Department arranged the event as part of an international leadership program, and participants came from places ranging from Nigeria to Mexico and Indonesia. The meeting included presentations from Shaherose Charania, CEO and co-founder of Women 2.0; Clara Brenner, co-founder of Tumml; and Phillip-Michael Weiner and John-Randall Gorby of EarthStarter; which were then followed by a brief Q&A.
The meeting started with an attempt to get the group to open up about the hurdles they are facing, so each attendee was asked to explain the company they work for and what general challenges they face in their respective countries. For someone like me who has grown up at the center of a technology hub, it was surprising to see some of the problems these women faced, including networking scarcity and a lack of nanotechnology, none of which are major concerns here in Silicon Valley.
With these challenges in mind, the women were eager to ask more questions on how Silicon Valley is able to prosper. Through this Q&A, I learned many things, including how collaboration is key to startups, how some aspects of a startup are very feminine, a little bit about business models, and, overall, that the possibilities for innovation are nearly endless.
It was not just me who found this meeting interesting. The participants did not want to leave by the end of it and I couldn’t blame them. The amount of knowledge you can gain simply seeing things from another company’s perspective was intriguing, and the employees at Women 2.0 were able to see things from many new angles. After one of the first meetings I have attended at Women 2.0, I can now see the many benefits in attending networking events such as this one. I was able to broaden my scope of connections, knowledge, and possible opportunities for the future. Thus, I simply cannot wait for the rest!
About the guest blogger: Guneet Kaur is the events research intern at Women 2.0 for the summer. She will be a senior at Lynbrook High School. Last summer, she held an internship at Silicon Valley Leadership Group. She is also president of Lynbrook's Red Cross club and the liaision coordinator for the Youth Executive Board at the Red Cross. You can connect with her on LinkedIn. Photo credit: Anita Borg Institute via Flickr.