Tech-savvy moms have a long history of meaningful innovation. They keep it real by admitting their lives aren’t always perfect, but they sure as hell try and have a great time doing it. Perhaps having a cookie-cutter life is overrated, after all.
These women not only defy odds as powerful, inspirational women in tech, but also go above and beyond by holding the additional title of "mother. Meet 7 power "mom-preneuers" you might not have expected to find in tech:1. Fran Maier (Founding Team, Match.com; Founder & Chair of the Board, TRUSTe)
Fran put online dating on the map with Match.com and is now Chair of the Board at online trust brand TRUSTe. On being a working mom with a son, she said: “Yes, it’s hard to navigate marriage especially when roles are different than what we were raised with, everyone has to make tradeoffs, it’s not always easy for the husbands (or wives), everyone can’t be going 100%+ all the time, and yes I can be demanding, bitchy etc. but geez, goddamit I work real hard to also be a good wife, mother, and lover.”
2. Paula Long (Co-Founder & EVP Products/Strategy, EqualLogic -- acquired by Dell; Co-Founder & CEO, DataGravity)
Serial entrepreneur Paula Long believes “having it all" is highly overrated. Her previous company EqualLogic was acquired by Dell for $1.4 billion in 2008. Starting that company meant that her husband and son would become founders too in a sense. She observed that family is a big part of success: “Your family needs to buy into your career choices. They are a big part of any success... [My son] Andy knew he was loved, but he also knew his friend’s moms did many of the tasks his dad did. We made this tradeoff as a family. Do I regret it? Yes. Would I do things different if I could? Probably not.”
3. Ann Miura-Ko (Partner, FLOODGATE)
Ann Miura-Ko is a lecturer at Stanford, investor in startups and mom who believes “work life balance is less about making keeping everything equal as it is making sure everything is in order.” One of the Most Powerful Women in Startups as named by Forbes, Ann wakes up at 5 every morning to get a head start before her family gets going. She says, “It’s never a moment where you feel good about everything. I just work to try to keep it together and hope that no one gets hurt in the process.”
4. Kara Swisher (Founder & Co-Executive Editor, All Things D)
A veteran reporter with a sense of humor and sharp wit, Kara Swisher started AllThingsDigital with Walt Mossberg. Her partner, Google exec, Megan Smith, takes the morning shift, feeding and taking their kids to school, while Swisher takes the after school through dinner shift before going back to reporting. She writes about others’ fascinations with how she became a gay mom and other parenting exploits in this Huffington Post column, named after her eldest: “The Louie Chronicles.”
5. Selina Tobaccowala (Founder, Evite.com & SVP Product & Engineering, SurveyMonkey)
Evite.com founder and current SurveyMonkey SVP of Product and Engineering Selina Tobaccowala says motherhood has made her more productive! Regarding having kids, Selina said it “really forces you to prioritize your time and be a lot more efficient because you have other priorities.” SurveyMonkey’s CEO Dave Goldberg (and husband of Sheryl Sandberg) makes sure to promote an office culture where it’s okay to leave the office at 5:45 to pick up your kids.
6. Joy Marcus (Partner, DFJ Gotham Ventures)
Venture capitalist Joy Marcus is also mom to a daughter, warning middle school girls against losing their mojo. She encourages her newly 6th grade daughter to hold on to the confidence she built in elementary school after she does badly on a math test. “It’s this confidence that will get you through high school, college parties, and your first pitch meeting!” she blogged.
7. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (Founder & Chairman, Joyus)
Formerly a VP at Google and CEO of Polyvore, the current founder and Chairman of video shopping site Joyus says running your own business means you can be a slave and a master -- and with a family, the small victories count. A mother to three, she says that being an entrepreneur means you are “deeply tied to your work,” but it also means that you have the final say on vetoing larger scheduling choices like cross-country commuting -- so you can spend two hours with her kids before bed, like she does.
Get inspired by these power moms in tech and their stories at the Women 2.0 Conference (February 14, 2013 in San Francisco). The conference’s theme, “The Next Billion,” covers a wide range of topics including your first billion users or views, the coveted billion dollar exit, and the next billion users in emerging markets.
The conference also features badass moms Christine Herron of Intel Capital, Rashmi Sinha of SlideShare (sold to LinkedIn), Laura Yecies of SugarSync and many more. Women 2.0 welcomes everyone interested in tech, business and entrepreneurship to join the conference on February 14.
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