Change of the Guard as Women 2.0 Deepens Its Ties to the East Coast
Women 2.0 is on the move, bringing its act in a big way to New York state. The San Francisco-based network and social platform for women technology entrepreneurs is getting a new boss and relocating its headquarters to just outside of Syracuse, NY.
Today, CEO and co-founder Shaherose Charania announced she transferred ownership and the leadership of Women 2.0 to Kate Brodock, chief content officer with New York-based Untapt, a recruiting platform for hires in fintech and financial services. Brodock (pictured above) previously served as president of Girls in Tech, a nonprofit that supports women in technology and entrepreneurship.
She and Charania connected a year and a half ago, and then about three months ago their talks turned to putting the organization in Brodock’s hands. One of the objectives going forward will be to broaden Women 2.0’s reach beyond Silicon Valley. “I really want to make sure the community that Shaherose has built remains intact and is accessible by other groups and companies,” Brodock says.
Though the new headquarters is upstate, there will likely be staff working remotely in Manhattan, she says, maintaining a connection with the city’s startup scene. “I have personal interest in bringing some of that innovation from New York up here,” she adds.
The organization got its start 10 years ago and branched out over the years with different initiatives, including the launch of Founder Labs, a “pre-incubator program” for mobile startups with female as well as male founders, which runs in New York and San Francisco.
Earlier, Women 2.0 hosted conferences and startup pitch competitions, including helping to launch Detroit Founder Friday with Google. But Charania says she dialed down the events side of the operations recently, with the team focusing more on media and content.
Women 2.0 has fulfilled some of its initial goals by calling attention to the paucity of diversity in the tech world. Other groups have emerged to further the cause of changing the gender and ethnic makeup of the industry, she says. These days more companies take steps to be more inclusive in hiring decisions, however there is still work to be done. “It’s gone from being a community around a movement to a real business,” Charania says. “That’s what’s prompting a lot of our change.”
The call for more diversity has reached the mainstream in the past five years, she says, and now the organization’s aim is to push for real parity in diversity across all segments of the technology world, including investments.
“We should have equality in the workplace,” Brodock says. “This is really good for companies’ bottom lines and the industry.”
Now that she has handed over the reins to Women 2.0, Charania says she plans to spend more of her time advising and consulting with early-stage startups, helping them with product strategy, marketing, and company culture.
In addition to the change at the top and relocation, a new advisory group is coming on board that includes Jesse Draper, general partner at Halogen Ventures; Natalia Oberti Noguera, founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels; and Monique Woodard, venture partner with 500 Startups. Charania will also serve on the advisory board. New corporate partnerships are in the works as well, with the likes of Untapt; theBoardlist, which refers woman as candidates to company boards; and fundraising platform Republic.co.