Home / Technology / Women in Cloud Network Hopes to Empower Female Entrepreneurs in Tech – Small Business Trends

Women in Cloud Network Hopes to Empower Female Entrepreneurs in Tech – Small Business Trends


A brand new motion is afoot in the tech trade. A bunch of girls in management roles in firms like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Meylah have banded in combination to shape the Women in Cloud community, a gaggle devoted to supporting females marketers and execs in the tech house via quite a few other tasks.

Women in Cloud Network

Recently, the crowd hosted its first Women in Cloud Summit match at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington. The inaugural match featured just about 400 attendees, most commonly females. And the founding workforce made a couple of bulletins, together with a brand new accelerator and pledging gadget.

Many of the founding participants met via their involvement with IgniteWA, an financial initiative aimed toward supporting small companies in the state of Washington. But even supposing IgniteWA does have some tasks aimed toward bettering variety, the crowd felt that the problem of supporting females in tech was once essential sufficient to warrant its personal entity.

Gretchen O’Hara, co-founder of Women in Tech and VP of Marketing for One Commercial Partner at Microsoft instructed Small Business Trends, “Women start 40 percent of all new businesses. But only 5 percent of those new businesses are tech startups. So there’s a huge opportunity for women small business owners to give back and think about how they can transform their businesses in the cloud.”

So the founding workforce got here in combination to create Women in Tech, a company that’s nonetheless in its starting phases, however that still has a number of tasks already in the works. Here’s a little concerning the other spaces of center of attention for Women in Cloud.

Cloud Accelerator

One of the largest bulletins is the introduction of a brand new accelerator program for women-led firms having a look to develop their companies the use of cloud era. The program is supported through Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise and features a six-month cloud accelerator lab revel in in Seattle.

To qualify, candidates will have to have no less than one girl at the founding workforce, use cloud applied sciences to construct a habitual income type, have passion in growing value-add answers the use of cloud applied sciences, and have an interest in the use of Microsoft and HPE channels to develop their companies.

Once decided on, firms will be able for one-on-one training, a unfastened migration to Microsoft Azure, the chance to attend investor workshops, and particular pricing for spouse services and products. Even as soon as the preliminary program is entire, the workforce hopes it’ll get started to have a ripple impact during the trade.

O’Hara says, “The hope is that we can start with the first set of female entrepreneurs, get them ready to do the hard work, roll up their sleeves and do some heavy lifting to get through the program. They’ll have all the resources, mentorship, software and services available for them to accelerate their growth in the cloud. Then once we graduate that class, the hope is that they’ll be able to go back and reconnect with others and support even more women owned businesses going forward.”

Cloud Commitments

The founding workforce additionally hopes to encourage motion from others in the trade, even from those that may not be in a position to benefit from the accelerator program. Part in their technique for doing so is to gather pledges of actual movements from folks in the trade which they may be able to take to give a boost to variety and inclusion in their very own organizations or the trade as an entire.

The concept stems from an previous revel in of Wendy White, every other of the founding participants of Women in Tech. Years in the past, White was once struck an incident raised in an organization she was once operating for on the time. A colleague selected to go away the corporate after many proceedings of the “bro tech” tradition which wasn’t referred to as being tremendous pleasant to females. It was once additionally in the midst of the gamer-gate controversy and quite a few different conversations surrounding the difficulties of being a lady in the tech house.

White says of that point, “I thought, ‘I’m the most senior woman here – I’m it.’ So I felt that I had to take action — I couldn’t just talk about it. So I started a women’s mentorship network inside the company.”

And now she and the remainder of the Women in Cloud workforce need to encourage others to take identical motion via a pledge gadget.

White explains, “We don’t want it to just be a conversation. Everyone knows the diversity numbers and the importance of inclusion. But we want to take that to the next step. What can we actually do to catalyze our network? Can we kick in money for a scholarship, agree to be a mentor for other women?”

White spoke on the contemporary Women in Cloud Summit concerning the concept, asking different attendees for pledges of actionable issues they might do to permit and make stronger females owned companies and ladies execs in the tech house. The authentic purpose was once to gather 100 such pledges through the years. But White says that she won about 50 straight away, so she’s hopeful that they are going to be in a position to transcend that authentic purpose.

The workforce is in the midst of putting in place a gadget for pledging on its site. But for now, White encourages trade house owners and others in pledging to electronic mail her without delay with their concepts.

Opportunity Circles

One doable plan of action for the ones having a look to make stronger females in tech is to create alternative circles that lend a hand to attach females with mentors and trade alternatives. And the Women in Cloud workforce could also be selling this concept with its personal community of mentors and advisors.

Carrie Francey of HPE and Women in Cloud instructed Small Business Trends, “The idea is to impact and help others navigate the way to finding funding or making that process easier with tools and resources and people who can help by mentoring or sharing their individual skill sets.”

The concept in the back of those circles can be to have small teams that experience each skilled mentors and ladies having a look to develop their companies or advance their careers. These teams can meet and lend a hand make bigger each and every different’s networks and supply steerage and alternatives to the opposite participants of the crowd.

You can join at the site for those who’re in becoming a member of the Women in Cloud community. Both women and men are invited to be a part of the mentorship and training community.

Women in Cloud Summit

These are simply a number of the problems that had been mentioned at this yr’s Women in Cloud Summit, which came about on January 19. The match additionally featured audio system from Microsoft, HPE and different tech giants, in conjunction with instructional workout routines and roundtable discussions.

Both women and men had been invited to attend. However, the vast majority of attendees had been females, which is a significant outlier in the tech house.

Overall, the workforce was once happy with the development and hopes to proceed it, in conjunction with the plethora of alternative tasks they have got in the works, neatly into the long run.

O’Hara says, “We don’t just see this as a network or an initiative — it’s really a movement.”

Image: Anne Nelson (by means of Chaitra Dutt)

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