#SGWomen is here.

May is always one of our favorite months of the year here at Startup Grind.

Every year during the month of May Startup Grind hosts our #SGWomen Leaders Month — proudly recognizing the accomplishments of successful women leaders all over the world. These women are founders, venture capitalists, engineers, executives and more who represent our community.

They are the women who exemplify profound leadership skills, hard-work, humility, and success and demonstrate their strength with devotion to the work they do everyday. They encourage and inspire us all.

Startup Grind’s #SGWomen launched four years ago and is about putting a heightened focus and an awareness on our everyday mission to create more inclusive communities. Never has Startup Grind’s mission been more potent than in the realm of entrepreneurship, startups, business, and to represent women everywhere in the tech space.

The most shocking statistics most of us are familiar with:

Women-led tech companies received a mere $1.9 billion in funding (about two percent) last year. This figure may seem a large investment until it stands in comparison to the heaping $66.9 billion invested in companies with all-male founders.

Black women received far less than one percent of all venture capital deals. Only nine percent of VC partners are women, some companies recently hiring their first female partners yet.

Women are banning together and men are stepping up as allies to help improve these statistics and work toward changing the environment; but clearly we still have much work to do.

The good news.

The good news is there are more female entrepreneurs today than ever before and a the decision-making women in the world of venture capital are shaking things up for good.

All Raise’s Cowboy Ventures’ Aileen Lee was one of the first female VC’s to publicly recognize and speak out on the problem of unrecognized female leadership. Lee has made it her mission to work toward solving these inequities. All Raise — announced last month — was founded by 34 senior female investors and as a new non-profit organization it is dedicated to diversity in funders & founders.

Many of these dynamic VC’s recently graced the cover as part of the 2018 Forbes Midas List (left) and I’m proud to say all but two of them have spoken at a Startup Grind’s Global Conference, recognizing the best women + men in business.

We along with many other organizations and individuals are working to help reshape what the tech industry looks like. We have the power to encourage inclusive thinking within our organization — which spans 350 cities and 120 countries globally. We’re doing what we can to spread that message by exercising it.

The purpose of our May events is to tell the stories of the journey, the grind, and the setbacks of great female leaders. From Lagos, Nigeria to Detroit, Michigan. From Mexico City to Hong Kong. Over 100 Startup Grind chapters in more than 25 countries will host events as part of our #SGWomen Female Leaders Campaign. It is important that we recognize, listen to and encourage these women as we work toward building a more inclusive ecosystem. Anyone and everyone who believes in our mission to work toward change — men and women alike — should come out to an event this May.

Startup Grind’s mission is to educate, inspire, connect — and ultimately help every entrepreneur in the world. We want to do work we are proud of. We want to produce work that helps others — even if only in a small way, move toward change. We must produce work that represents diversity and inclusiveness as a standard — where diversity should be celebrated, but is also expected. We often share this message through our actions less than words, but one thing has become especially clear this year — we have to talk about it.

Here is a list of our events happening around the world.

Here is how you can get involved:

Attend an event.

These aren’t your typical “tech events” these are community events with the purpose of bringing amazing people together to build relationships and help each other. Bring a friend or come to meet a new one. Even better, invite a female entrepreneur or a male colleague along with you. From there you’re part of our community — it’s as simple as that.

Apply for a free ticket to our Europe Conference. We’re giving away 100 comp tickets to women in tech for our upcoming Europe Conference on June 13 in London. We’ll be doing the same for our Global Conference in Silicon Valley February 11–13, 2019 — stay tuned for updates on that.

Spread the word.

Use #SGWomen to recognize female leaders in your community or to share content and photos of Startup Grind events you attend. Mention @startupgrind so we can share them, too.

Suggest a speaker.

Send us a note at speakers@startupgrind.com if you know of a female leader who would be a great addition to one of our stages around the world. We’re always looking for great women to join our lineup at the Global Conference in February and at our Europe Conference in June as well.

Become a Partner.

At Startup Grind, we help both startups and large corporations alike tap into our potent network of global entrepreneurs. It’s a regular feeling I have —feeling very fortunate for the opportunity to do work with the organizations we do. Often times marketing teams are made up of women. A majority of our partners are just that: smart, talented, humble women doing incredible work [often behind the scenes] to help brands be impactful and to make others look good.

To help get your message, resources, etc. in front of our community, we’d love to talk. Write to sponsor@startupgrind.com.

For further inspiration, here are just a few of the powerhouse business women I especially admire:

VC’s

Aileen Lee at Cowboy, Rebecca Kaden at USV (speaking at Startup Grind June 5!) , Megan Quinn at Spark Capital, Kirsten Green and Eurie Kim at Forerunner, Maha Ibrahim at Canaan, Stacey Bishop at Scale VP, Luciana Lixandru and Sonali De Rycker at Accel, Jess Lee at Sequoia, Anna Patterson at Gradient (just featured on Startup Grind VC Corner), Sarah Tavel at Benchmark, Sarah Guo at Greylock, Jenny Lefcourt at Freestyle, Kara Nortman at Upfront, Jenny Lee at GGV, Ann Miura-Ko at Floodgate, Trae Vassallo at Defy, Jocelyn Goldfein at Zetta, Renata Quintini at Lux, Hayley Barna at FirstRound, Steph Palmieri at Uncork, Patricia Nakache at Trinity, Theresia Gouw at Aspect, Beth Seidenberg at Kleiner Perkins, Emily Melton at DFJ (speaking at Startup Grind Palo Alto, Halle Tecco at Techammer (speaking at Startup Grind Charleston, Jodi Jahic at Aligned, Reshma Sohoni at Seedcamp, Arlan Hamilton at Backstage, Susan Lyne at BBG, Freada Kapor Klein at Kapor Capital, Ashley Carroll at Social Capital, the dynamic team at #ANGELS.

Engineers, Entrepreneurs, Executives, Activists, Authors..

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Mary Grove, Michelle Obama, Katrina Lake, Susan Fowler, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Tarana Burke, Grace Coddington, J.K Rowling, Indra Nooyi, Jessica Livingston, Eileen Welteroth, Karlie Kloss, Sara Blakely, Serena Williams, Billie Jean King, Anne Wojcicki, Megan Smith, Laura Weidman Powers, Ursula Burns, Sheryl Sandberg, Nicole Sanchez, Kathryn Minshew, Courtney Caldwell, Katie Jacobs Stanton, Danielle Morrill, Beth Comstock, Gillian Tans, Julia Grace, Laurene Powell Jobs, Oprah, Arianna Huffington, Danielle Cohn (speaking at Startup Grind Philadelphia), Margit Wennmachers (speaking at Startup Grind Europe), Ellen DeGeneres, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Hartz, Jessica Herrin, Michelle Zatlyn, Carolyn Rafaelian, Monique Woodard, Adi Tatarko, Fei-Fei Li, Shernaz Daver, April Underwood, Lynda Weinman, Lisa Price, Sara Mauskopf (speaking at Startup Grind SF May 3!), Tracy Young, Brene Brown

The idea behind our Female Leaders Month /#SGWomen / our annual May campaign launched four years ago with our partners and the network behind Google for Entrepreneurs. Today, we’re proud to be continuing the campaign with the support of Comcast Lift Labs.

Comcast NBCUniversal’s LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs gives talented entrepreneurs access to Comcast NBCUniversal’s renowned network of partners, brands and mentors to foster rapid breakthroughs in media, entertainment and connectivity. Founder-focused, LIFT Labs offers programmed talks, mentor sessions, events and online educational resources designed to help entrepreneurs grow and manage their companies and bring their offerings to market. #IdeasElevated. Go to ComcastNBCULIFT.com to learn more.

Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you’ll consider getting involved.


Originally published at www.startupgrind.com.