In the past year, The Levo League has surfaced as one of the premiere sites for driven young women embarking on their careers. A network of mentors and mentees, the League has differentiating itself by truly forming a community of women hungry to help one another.
A recent post by Madeline Stilley doles out a piece of advice that may sound obvious, but is often forgotten: your goal is to be an asset. Whether you’re acting on a small team or a large team, as an entrepreneur or an intern, you must make yourself valuable, you must invest your time with the right people and projects, and you must keep detailed track of your accomplishments.
This advice transcends age or career level. Remember it.
For more early career advice or for information on how to get involved mentoring women, follow The Levo League on Twitter.
The New York Times ran a “Room for Debate” feature on September 30th that put a spin on the standard “why are there too few women in STEM?” question. Instead, they pointed to a recent Yale study that revealed there is “a pervasive and unconscious bias on university campuses that favors male science students over their female counterparts” — and subsequently asked panelists to consider whether an affirmative action -like solution could help alleviate the problem.
It’s an interesting proposal for a number of reasons, but this particular debate introduced an element that isn’t often seen in the women and STEM predicament: policy and politics. There are, of course, a number of indirect and direct ways in which policies affect STEM women (or potential STEM women), but throwing the words “affirmative action” out there tends to elicit strong responses across political and educational spectrums.
Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women’s Forum suggested that individual decisions have no business being regulated — and that there is a larger problem in higher education that needs examining. Nancy Hopkins, a biology professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prefers to call a potential solution “affirmative effort.”
You can read the debate in its entirety here.
For those wondering why ekstemic has been quiet lately, fret not: we haven’t fled the Internet. We’ve been working on bigger, better, bolder things that will make their way onto the blog and on Twitter in due time.
If you’re interested in contributing while ekstemic lays low for another few weeks, we’d love to hear from you. See our About page for information on how to get in touch.
This post is written by Jonna Humphries, an Assistant Editor with WaPo Labs.
Let this statistic soak in: only 18% of students in the U.S. graduating with engineering degrees are women. Remedying this void been a hot issue lately, and three female graduate students from Stanford’s Graduate School of Engineering are confronting the issue head on.
Alice Brooks, Bettina Chen, and Jennifer Kessler noticed the low number of females in their classes and decided to create a toy that would inspire the next generation of young women to seek out careers in science, math, and technology. They are encouraging STEM interest from the onset, opting to tackle the issue at its roots and hoping to instill a long-term sense of value in women that they, too, can be the next Steve Jobs, Marissa Mayer, or Ursula Burns.
If you’ve heard of Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup, you’re likely familiar with the idea of pivoting and quickly reacting to changing demands. But if you listen to Harvard Business Review‘s Dan McGinn, you’ll hear a slightly different message: in today’s entrepreneurial circles, there’s a little too much pivoting — and not enough passion.
The notion that entrepreneurs aspire to start companies in which they have little vested interest is a relatively recent phenomenon. Time and time again, you may hear of an app that started off as x, pivoted to y, and now exists as z. Should entrepreneurs focus more on quality and long-standing value, or are there benefits to building enterprises as quickly and bare-bones as possible?
McGinn’s podcast, “What’s Wrong With Today’s Entrepreneurs“, is worth a listen, if only to get you thinking about the different approaches to starting a business or building a product.
In ekstemic‘s case, we like to think of ourselves as “in beta”. Though many consider the term to be overused — and perhaps a bit unusual for a blog — the phrasing gives us room to tinker and toy with new ideas and approaches before making a larger leap. Overhead has been minimal, and experiments have both succeeded and failed. But so far, our biggest lessons have been the ones we’ve learned along the way. There’s no better way to learn than to do — and for us, that means starting with a passion.
We love a good list — and are super happy to be able to share such a lengthy one generated by the tech community Mashable. There are women on here that will pique your curiosity, inspire new ideas, and motivate you to turn those ideas into actions, companies, and products. Without further adieu: The 41 Female Founders Every Entrepreneur Should Know.
Is there anyone notable missing from the list? Should you be on it?
Serial entrepreneur and innovation expert Jonathan Fields has an excellent blog post that emphasizes the inevitable: at some point or another, you will make a wrong decision. Maybe it’s a one-off, maybe it’s a decision that will have longer-lasting consequences. No matter what, though, it will happen. And you know what? That’s not such a terrible thing. The kicker lies toward the bottom of his post: “Fact is, I have not yet seen the success that wasn’t preceded by a series of mistakes.”
Neither have we.
If you have a story to share about recovering or learning from a mistake, we’d love to hear about your experience.