“Executives should mentor at least one woman per year”

“Executives should mentor at least one woman per year”

At the end of the first day of Brazil at Silicon Valley, which began yesterday in Mountain View, Calif., organizers decided to deal with the elephant in the room and admit that 99% of the attendees were white men. According to them, measures are being taken to improve the representativeness of the next editions.

To create a qualified discussion on gender equality, spectacular women were called to the stage, who would already be “role models” just for having successful careers in one of the most sexist areas of the market. But they went further, building mentoring models for girls who dream of completing their studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

“All female entrepreneurs and executives should mentor at least one woman a year. That would change things,” he said. Agnieszka Hryniewicz-Bieniekglobal director of Google for Startupsin an interview with BUSINESS season. “I’ve been doing this for years, not just at Google, but at my previous companies. I realized how important it is. First, because women need to see their peers in power, to boost their self-confidence very quickly. Second, because only a woman will have the understanding of exactly what is required of an entrepreneur or professional, in a very different way than what is required of a man.”

When a woman applies for the job, she believes she needs to meet 100% of the requirements to get the job, according to the Gender Perception Report, released by LinkedIn. Most men, however, risk with only 60% of what is asked. “Women miss out on a lot of opportunities, just by creating too high demands on themselves. Therefore, I think that other professionals, by telling their successful experiences, can give the right kind of insight to young women and change their mindset when looking for a job – or starting a business, or connecting with other professionals”, says Agnieszka. .

Unlike some equity activists, who advocate more diverse networking, the global director of Google for Startups believes that creating a female-only network can be very beneficial for those starting out. “Because you understand that there are other people going through exactly the same difficulties as you. And because many founders choose a similar path within technology: companies linked to women’s own health, or social issues linked to family and communities. These are areas normally ignored by men, although they have great opportunities for innovation and scale. As long as the woman does the networking, she gets in touch with other companies in the area that have already managed to make a contribution. Only then will they be able to access capital – something that is also historically difficult for them.”

Agnieszka also disputes the perception that women’s businesses would not be attractive enough for investors. “In all the female founder programs at Google, I’m always surprised to see how many extremely sophisticated businesses are created by women. The problem is that nobody knows about them, because they are still in the early stage and are not part of any network. Therefore, they are invisible. My job is to give these women visibility and access.”

In her work at Google for Startups, she also tries to instill in founders (men and women) the need to hire a diverse team, and give preference to underrepresented groups. “We don’t just contribute capital to companies, we create sessions to educate startups about hiring and diversity, for example. For this reason, startups that are part of our portfolio tend to have more balanced teams.”

More women in the media, to serve as role models for those starting out: that would also be part of the solution, says the director of Google for Startups. “We need to get more women into the media, everywhere. It is essential that their voices are heard: this starts in schools and goes all the way to the boards of directors of companies. It’s that change I want to help make,” she adds.

Source: Época Negócios

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