Why grown women, not just girls, need more tech role models

This week, we had Meebo CTO and co-founder Sandy Jen come into the VentureBeat studio to talk about women and tech.

We’ve featured a few strong and opinionated women CEOs and CTOs in our videos lately, because we think it’s important to show the female faces and voices in the tech industry. And in this interview, Jen said that’s one of the most important things for encouraging more female entrepreneurship.

After we chatted about Jen’s background (not one but both parents were engineers) and the importance of diversity in startup teams, she went on to say that she and many women like her are hesitant to leave companies and step into co-founder roles simply because they don’t see many precedents for that kind of behavior. The young, male entrepreneur/hacker is pretty well glorified by our society, but what Jen wants to see is more visibility for the women who do so.

While we talk a lot about the need for role models and tech education for young girls, not enough is said about the need to encourage grown women to pursue new goals in technology. This includes learning a programming language, starting a company and taking on leadership roles within the community. But as Jen noted in our talk, the biggest encouragement can simply be seeing someone like you doing something you’ve always wanted to do but never tried.

We’re glad to be engineering a small part of that visibility here at VentureBeat, and we hope you find Jen’s words interesting and inspiring.

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