- Biz Carson/Business Insider
Finding women to add to a company’s board is even harder since the job listings aren’t posted publicly and advertised widely to attract a diverse network, says Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, CEO of Joyus and founder of theBoardlist.
“When a board seat opens, the typical process is that a CEO will turn to their few, most trusted peers for recommendations of potential board members, who in turn give recommendations of their few, most trusted peers,” Singh Cassidy told Business Insider. “Because our closest networks are usually very similar to ourselves, this process doesn’t necessarily yield a lot of diversity – not only of gender or race, but educational background, functional expertise or industry. While there may be no intent to actively exclude any group, this lack of diversity in networks means that opportunities aren’t exposed to a broader pool of talent.”
She started theBoardlist, a LinkedIn-like network that specifically recommends highly-qualified women in tech to take seats on company boards, to abolish any excuse that there aren’t highly-qualified women able to join a company’s board.
In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, theBoardlist shared with Business Insider the list of some of the top women in tech that should be on a Silicon Valley tech board right now, as nominated by its community.
Here’s the list of the 20 of the top women and what expertise each woman can add to a startup:
20. April Underwood
Experience: VP of Product at Slack and Founding Partner of #Angels investment. Previously Director of Product at Twitter and Sr. Partner Tech Manager at Google.
Why she should be on your board: April can help you solve your consumer internet product problems, especially around platforms and partnerships.
19. Kerry Whorton Cooper
- Kerry Whorton Cooper
Experience: CEO at Choose Energy, former CMO/COO at Modcloth, and CMO at Walmart.
Why she should be on your board: Kerry is ideal for your early to mid stage retail/ecommerce startup, with strong understanding both of the consumer, merchandising and back end tech.
18. Varsha Rao
- Varsha Rao
Experience: Former head of Global Operations at Airbnb, formerly SVP for LivingSocial, and senior roles at Keen.com, Gap and Old Navy.
Why she should be on your board: Varsha’s strong international expertise means she’s a great shepherd for scaling a startup. She has led large teams through hyper-growth and built two companies from scratch.
17. Kira Wampler
Experience: CMO of Lyft. Former CMO at Trulia and VP Product & Marketing at Lytro.
Why she should be on your board: Strong consumer insight and consumer marketing/storytelling experience. Can help you find and convey your startup’s marketing plan.
16. Leah Busque
Experience: Founder and Chairwoman of the Board of TaskRabbit (and former CEO), she started out in tech as a software engineer at IBM.
Why she should be on your board: Leah has run a strong consumer focused marketplace and has collaborative consumption product expertise, with the tech understanding behind it.
15. Michelle Sangster
Experience: VP of Global Business at ZestFinance, former Biz Dev roles at Amazon, Yahoo, Walmart and others.
Why she should be on your board: Struggling with business development? With her extraordinary dealmaker skills and strong network, Michelle can help your startup get back on track.
Find her on: LinkedIn
14. Sandra Oh Lin
- Kiwi Crate
Experience: Founder and CEO of Kiwi Crate, former GM for eBay Fashion and Prior to eBay, Sandra launched PayPal Mobile.
Why she should be on your board: Sandra can help early startups hone their product/market fit and create strong go-to-market strategies.
13. Michele Ganeless
- Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images
Experience: Recently left Viacom after being the President of Comedy Central for 12 years. Former EVP and GM of USA Network.
Why she should be on your board: Michele built and ran one of the most successful franchises in TV history, while leveraging social and digital. She could help you do the same for your entertainment or media-focused tech company.
Find her on: LinkedIn
12. Katia Beauchamp
- Cindy Ord / Getty Images
Experience: Co-Founder and CEO at Birchbox, former finance and commercial real estate background.
Why she should be on your board: Strong beauty ecommerce combined with financial acumen, Katia could benefit all types of consumer lifestyle startups.
11. Brit Morin
- Brit & Co
Experience: Founder, CEO of Brit + Co and bestselling author. Formerly, Brit worked as a Product Marketing/Manager of Google Maps, Google Search, Google TV, and YouTube.
Why she should be on your board: With extensive knowledge of the lifestyle space, she’d be great to help you take your fashion, entertainment or consumer ecommerce company to the next level.
10. Katie Stanton
- Katie Stanton
Experience: CMO at Color Genomics, formerly VP of Global Media and VP International at Twitter, and a Founding Partner of #Angels investment firm and a member of the Vivendi board.
Why she should be on your board: With broad global operating, media, government, and partnerships experience, Katie would be great for tech companies at any growth stage.
9. Kathleen Philips
- Zillow Group
Experience: CFO of Zillow Group, formerly Zillow’s General Counsel and COO and has been the General Counsel at several consumer tech companies.
Why she should be on your board: A business-oriented lawyer with solid financial acumen, Kathleen would be a great addition for an Audit Committee of a public board (or one prepping to go public).
8. Sarah Friar
Experience: CFO & Operations Lead at Square, former SVP of Finance & Strategy for Salesforce and held various roles at Goldman Sachs. Currently on the board of New Relic.
Why she should be on your board: Exceptional financial expertise, and with her background as both a CFO and her time at Goldman, she’s a perfect audit committee candidate for a startup thinking about going public.
7. Fidji Simo
Experience: Director of Product at Facebook (Video, News and Ads), former Strategy Manager at eBay.
Why she should be on your board: Fidji’s strong understanding of online advertising and live video can help you build and scale your consumer product.
6. Kim Jabal
Experience: CFO at Weebly, former CFO at Path and VP Finance at Lytro.
Why she should be on your board: Kim will get your finances in order pre-IPO with her extensive CFO and public audit committee experiences.
5. Yvonne Wassenaar
- New Relic
Experience: CIO at New Relic and board member of Bitium and The Athena Alliance, former VP Office of the CXO at VMware.
Why she should be on your board: Yvonne can help you sort out your cloud and data issues and provide sound strategic vision in an ever-changing digital world.
4. Selina Tobaccowala
Experience: Co-founder of Gixo, former President and CTO of SurveyMonkey, SVP Product & Technology at Ticketmaster Europe and VP Engineering & Co-founder of Evite.
Why she should be on your board: Selina has the technical know-how and vision to help you build or scale your consumer product.
3. Stephanie Hannon
- Clinton Campaign
Experience: CTO for Hillary for America, former Director of Product Management for Social Impact of Google and product management for Site Integrity and Trust Engineering at Facebook
Why she should be on your board: Stephanie is your go-to for product innovation, with strong international and operational experience.
2. Raji Arasu
Experience: Intuit’s SVP of Platform and Services, advisory board member for Code.org, and board of directors at NIC Inc. Former CTO for StubHub.
Why she should be on your board: With her extensive background in eCommerce, payments, retail and enterprise applications, she’ll bring a ton of technical and business savvy to your startup board.
1. Tara-Nicholle Nelson
- Tara-Nicholle Nelson
Experience: Founder and CEO Transformational Consumer Insights, Former VP, Marketing MyFitnessPal .
Why she should be on your board: Having a hard time finding your product/market fit? Tara can help you think through who your customers are.