SAN FRANCISCO — Y Combinator cofounder Jessica Livingston has announced that she’s taking a temporary leave of absence, stepping aside after 11 years of being a major part of the Silicon Valley startup program. During her one-year sabbatical, she plans on spending time with her family and thinking about projects and other things she wants to do.

At the onset of the third-annual Female Founders conference in San Francisco, Calif., Livingston revealed her leave, saying that she had some “personal news.” She told VentureBeat that this was only temporary and that she’ll be returning to Y Combinator, but it was time for her to focus on other things. Livingston disclosed that she hadn’t spent any real time away from her work, including after her children were born — she placed the blame on herself for that.

For more than a decade, Livingston has been one of the individuals behind all that Y Combinator has done, but it’s “all consuming,” she said. More than 1,000 startups have passed through the program’s halls and there’s never anything that happens that doesn’t need Livingston’s attention.

Her aim for her departure is to spend more time with her children and let her “think,” something that she says the flurry of activity at Y Combinator hasn’t allowed her to do. Livingston doesn’t know what projects she’ll work on, but when she gets a chance to relax, it’ll come to her.

The Female Founders conference was the place where she chose to wrap up her duties before stepping back. After all, the event is of her creation — she started the half-day conference to help encourage women founders. Livingston said that quite a bit has changed since the first year of the event: It’s estimated that 90 percent of women in attendance today were startup founders, a steep increase from being 50 percent three years ago.

The number of ticketed people has also grown to now be 850, prompting Y Combinator to move the event from Mountain View to San Francisco. All of the speakers were women founders from its portfolio, seeking to push for more diversity in the tech industry.

Livingston said the goal of the conference is to inspire more people to create startups and help the ones that have started become successful. She believes that a decade from now, she expects to see “tons of women-founded unicorns.”

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