With exclusive access to some of the most intriguing female entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders in Silicon Valley and beyond, Geek Girl Rising takes you inside the lives of the women disrupting “business as usual” across the nation’s vibrant tech scene. With a nod to trailblazers like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, veteran journalists Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens profile the next generation of women fighting at the grassroots level for an ownership stake in the revolution that’s changing the way we live, work and connect to each other. These women are going for it– building tech start-ups, investing in each other’s ventures, crushing male hacker stereotypes, creating networks of support and rallying their younger sisters.
Readers will meet Debbie Sterling, inventor of GoldieBlox, the first engineering toy for girls, which topples the notion that only boys can build. They’ll get a peek inside YouTube sensation Michelle Phan’s ipsy studios, where she is grooming the next generation of digital video stars while leading her own mega e-commerce beauty business. They will sit down with Tracy Chou, former lead software developer at Pinterest, whose public urging in late 2013 helped push Silicon Valley tech giants to reveal the tiny number of women in their ranks, propelling the “women in tech” conversation to front pages. They will tour the headquarters of The Muse, the hottest career site for millennials and meet its intrepid CEO, Kathryn Minshew, who stared down sexism while raising millions of dollars to fund the company she co-founded. And they will journey around the country to meet a new crop of female investors, including Theresia Gouw and Kathryn Finney, who are infusing women-led tech start-ups with much needed capital.
These women are the rebels proving that a female point of view not only matters in the age of technology, but can rock big returns on investment. At a time when women hold a quarter of computing jobs in the U.S. and make up a fraction of the entrepreneurs launching new tech companies, their stories show that in today’s fast-moving innovation economy, there is a place for anyone who has a big idea and the passion to build it.
Samantha Walravens is an award-winning journalist and editor of the New York Times-acclaimed book, TORN: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood. She writes about women, career and work-life issues for publications including Forbes, The Huffington Post, Disney Interactive and Modern Mom and speaks to audiences nationwide on the topic of work-life success, including groups at Google, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, UBS, Northern Trust, the Society of Women Engineers and Princeton University. Samantha started her career as a technology reporter for PC World magazine in San Francisco, led marketing communications at Tumbleweed Software, and is currently uncovering the stories of women changing the face of technology for Geek Girl Rising. She is a member of Pipeline Angels, an angel network that invests in female-led companies, and serves on the Alumni Schools Committee for her alma mater, Princeton University.