The #GirlBoss of #SiliconValley #Joyus #SukhinderSinghCassidy #Boardlist

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy: Time for action, not just talk

Earl Wilson/The New York Times

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy teaches us how often in life not ‘talk’ but ‘action’ is needed to make a change. She is one of the most important female bosses in Silicon Valley.

A self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, Cassidy has associated herself with numerous tasks and excelled admirably. But she never forgot the early sexism she experienced at the age of 18, when she was a newbie at the Valley and how that almost made her pack her bags and leave the tech industry altogether.

Over the years she grew tired of the ‘talk’s regarding –how deserving women are not finding their places in the boards of the tech companies. At one point in 2014, she took matters in hand and decided to solve this problem by doing what any respectable Valley resident would do –by opening a start-up with a mission to place more women on the boards called TheBoardlist. The non-profit company makes a portal for potential female candidates to find jobs for board positions. While describing The Boardlist she says it is focused on accelerating gender diversity in technology by putting women in the boardrooms of private technology companies because 70–75% privately funded tech companies don’t have any women on the board.

“There’s a lot of educating that needs to be done,”
Through The Boardlist, she highlights the women in one hand –“There’s a lot of educating that needs to be done,”said Singh Cassidy, who is on the boards of TripAdvisor and Ericsson. On the other hand, educates the rest on how bringing women in the board makes significantly better returns for the tech companies. To be on the list, a candidate must be endorsed by a Boardlist member, many of whom are venture capitalists, tech executives, and others. TheBoardlist now has 1,300 names, up from 600 when the effort began, Singh Cassidy said. Less than half of those on the list have previous board experience, reflecting the up-and-coming nature of the group. Companies seeking a female board member can search through the list for ideas.
my father — his life’s purpose and passion are completely aligned and he made everyone around him, myself included, feel extraordinary and completely accepted. That is truly an incredible gift to have as a leader of any kind
Cassidy describes herself as a super intense and super academic, impatient and uptight person.Moreover, she always feels the need of doing something more. It’s funny how Cassidy grew up doing her father’s income tax from the age of 10. During her teen days, she made a system in her computer to crunch her father’s ledgers. Both of her parents were doctors who moved to Canada when they were older and had to rebuild their career from the scratch. This shift and building up one’s career for the second time in a new land taught Cassidy the value of extreme hard work. However, it is her father, who played the role of biggest inspiration in Cassidy’s life. Her father always encouraged Cassidy to do something of her own. When asked who her biggest inspiration in life is, she says, my father — his life’s purpose and passion are completely aligned and he made everyone around him, myself included, feel extraordinary and completely accepted. That is truly an incredible gift to have as a leader of any kind.
“I went through a recruiting cycle after graduating but didn’t get a job. So I went from feeling great about myself as a high school student to wondering what’s wrong with me. I felt pretty demoralized. It really made me question myself.”
At 25, she knew she wanted to open a company. Ironically, for an intense person like Cassidy, who plans everything ahead a thousand time in her ever-so-charged head did not know what she wanted in life. While reminiscing the past she says, “I went through a recruiting cycle after graduating but didn’t get a job. So I went from feeling great about myself as a high school student to wondering what’s wrong with me. I felt pretty demoralized. It really made me question myself.” She is also relatable as a grad student who admits it was her ‘revolt time’ coming from a highly conservative family. She enjoyed her freedom and decided just to have fun. Her grades were good but the opportunity of making decisions on her own was something she never tasted before and cherished thoroughly. She believes in extreme hard work and also believes everything will fall into places as it meant to be. She started working on the Wall Street for Merrill Lynch. Before founding her own company JOYUS, Cassidy worked in an array of companies playing different roles.
She believes in extreme hard work and also believes everything will fall into places as it meant to be
Before starting JOYUS in January 2011, she spent almost 20 years as a leading consumer internet and media executive at global and early stage companies including Google, Amazon, Polyvore, Yodlee, and News Corporation. JOYUS is a company of a team of professional shoppers, stylists, make-up artists and nutritionists who are dedicated to finding the best products, services, and tips for you. She has previously served as an advisor to Twitter, on the Advisory Council for Princeton University’s Department of Computer Science, and as a board member of J. Crew Group. A six-year veteran of Google, the former President of Asia-Pacific and Latin American operations left the behemoth to strike out on her own in 2009, but not without laying the groundwork. After three years of research, including stints on the J.Crew board of directors, with style site Polyvore and a year as CEO-in-Residence at venture capital firm Accel. Singh-Cassidy launched JOYUS this September with $7.9 million in unattributed funding led by Accel.
For Cassidy, commerce comes with a lot of emotion, especially for women –for them, shopping is an enjoyment. During the time she launched JOYUS lot of other shopping platforms like Zynga, Polyvore, Gilt, Groupon was emerging. “The biggest challenge in launching JOYUS was being ahead of the market, timing-wise. Being the first of our kind, we had to figure out how to both build something pretty complex and make it simple and intuitive for users.” –Cassidy says. But she saw a lot of room for innovation and wanted to focus on the non-tradition approach of using emotion through video. In other words, she blended e-commerce with emotion and used video to narrate her vision –“I think video’s a great way to do that, and it’s a medium that so far on the web hasn’t been used for direct response — it’s really used more for engagement. And I also wanted to build a convergence of commerce and content with the idea of new voices on the web being the users.” –Cassidy Says.
She loves skiing and she confesses being a closet-knitter
Cassidy loves spending time with her family whenever she can. Lake Tahoe is her favorite holiday destination for winter and for summer. She loves skiing and she confesses being a closet-knitter who loves to knit and give it to a friend who is having a baby. When asked what keeps you up at night, she said — “Dreaming of what I need to deliver next week, next month and next year all keep me up at night. As a founder/CEO, there is never a night where you don’t dream about your “baby” and what it needs to survive and thrive. Her favorite city is Barcelona for its amazing architecture, food, style, people & vibe. Her recent favorite app is Medium and the go-to app is her Kindle on iPhone.
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