In this episode of Lean the F*ck Out, Gretchen and Tera talk with Elaine Huang, the founder of Neon Owl, a media company and lifestyle brand that brings people together through dance and music to support awesome causes around the world. Elaine shares her entrepreneurial journey and how she has built and grown Neon Owl, as well as her coaching and consulting business and Gypsy Social. Elaine is a power house at connecting with people and has some amazing advice on how to kick ass and build your brand, and for those that are just starting out she shares some bonus info on how to choose your direction or passion project.
In this episode, we talk with Chelsey Goodan about her day jobs as a tutor and screenwriter and her side hustles supporting activism and as a board member of A Call to Men. Chelsey shares advice on how she balances her work with her activism and details about all the great work she is doing her organization, The Activist Cartel, and different ways we can teach men how to be better feminists.
In this episode, we talk with Teresa Thome about how she went from Executive Director of a Children’s Museum to TV Producer to Film Producer to on-stage story teller and everything in between. Teresa talks about how she has been able to break into a man’s world and what it has taken to get her business where it is today. Teresa also tells us about her production, Warm Cheese, how it got its name and how she uses storytelling in her show and in her film making.
Teresa amazed us with some of her great tips for fempreneurs, including how she has been able to conquer issues of confidence to conquer LA and her new business world. Teresa also shares her strong belief that the world is run by those who show up.
In this episode, we talk with Iba Masood, co-founder and CEO of Tara about how she got started as a tech founder and how her and her co-founder are revolutionizing the tech industry. Tara has an algorithm that strips away the bias for connecting freelancers to jobs at companies that need coders. Listen to episode 56 now to hear the full story of what Iba is doing with Tara today and her plans for the future of Silicon Valley.
In this episode, we talk with Leanne Pittsford founder and CEO of Lesbians Who Tech about how she has scaled her business from start up to over 25,000 queer women and allies strong. Lesbians Who Tech, which is increasing visibility and improving representation among LGBTQ women in the tech sector on a global scale. Leanne talks about how she has been able to make this all happen from a kernel of an idea to the White House and beyond. She shares all the steps she took along the way and offers valuable advice all fempreneurs should here.
Launching Lesbians Who Tech Episode Highlights
- Gay men and gay women are at the opposite ends of the equity spectrum at work
- Lesbians Who Tech was built through hustling, but starting at first using lean startup principles.
- When you are scaling talk to the individuals who use your product and solve their problems.
- Recruitment of mid-level professionals is an untapped space that Lesbians Who Tech has taken over in tech industry
- Each day remember what are your “non-negotiables” but be open to the fact that they might change.
- “Don’t wait for things to be perfect.”
- “Trust your gut and check in with yourself often.”
- It’s likely you’ll be happier if you fail on something you tried to build than something you are building for someone else.
Leanne Pittsford is the CEO and Founder of Lesbians Who Tech, the largest LGBTQ network of technologists in the world. Now over 25,000 queer women and allies strong, Lesbians Who Tech is increasing visibility and improving representation among LGBTQ women in the tech sector on a global scale through annual tech Summits in New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Paris, Singapore and programs like the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship, a coding scholarship fund for LGBTQ to learn how to code, and Bring a Lesbian to Work Day, a one day shadow career program. You can learn more here at lesianswhotech.org.
She recently launched include.io, a recruiting and retention platform that uses mini-mentoring sessions to validate diverse and non-traditional technical talent, allowing companies to be intentional about inclusion. On the platform companies can scale access to the direct referrals that matter most, their current employees, to build their best teams and hire individuals for who they really are. Check out the platform to learn more at include.io.
In 2017, Leanne is partnering with TechHire, an initiative created by the Obama Administration, to launch a 50 city Tech Jobs Tour in 2017 with advisor Megan Smith, 3rd Chief Technology Officer of the United States. The Tour will stop in 50 cities across America to connect diverse and non-traditional talent to over 500,000 open tech jobs. See where it’s stopping next at techjobstour.com.
Before her work with Lesbians Who Tech, Tech Jobs Tour and include.io, Leanne founded and led Start Somewhere, a design and technology agency focused on strengthening social good organizations. She built leanimpact.org, an organization that helped social good organizations and companies use lean startup principles to increase their impact, which officially became part of Lean Startup in 2016. From 2006 to 2010 Leanne served as the Senior Director at Equality California, the largest statewide LGBTQ organization behind the No on Prop 8 Campaign. She managed the data for the campaign and built online fundraising campaigns that raised millions to support No on Prop 8. Leanne lives San Francisco and Washington D.C with her partner Pia Carusone and their two dachshunds. You can find her on a plane or on Twitter at @lepitts.
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In this episode, we talk with Michele Hansen about the business she co-founded with her husband, Geocodio. They launched the business as a side hustle together just after they got pregnant with their first born, now Michele works full time on the business. We talk with her about what it took to make that change and how she has been able to grow the business using a lean startup model, selling to her most engaged customers and restructuring her posts based on what keywords people are using to find her site. Michele has some brilliant tips for fempreneurs on how to develop a Google Search Strategy and structure SEO to attract the right customers.