During my recent trip to Silicon Valley with Commonwealth Bank’s womeninfocus.com.au, I attended a breakfast put on by NSW Trade & Investment.
The MC for the morning was an inspiring young Canadian woman Shaherose Charania. She is currently running Founder Labs - a pre-team, pre-idea incubator for new mobile startups and also is a mentor with 500Startups.
In parallel she is the CoFounder and CEO of Women 2.0, media company focused on the intersection of women, entrepreneurship and technology.
She has led its growth to include tens of thousands of participants, hosting monthly networking events globally and engaging entrepreneurs and investors from top Venture Capital firms and Angel circles.
Over the years she has seen over 300 early stage startups through Women 2.0 and has a strong interest in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Noticing the theme here?
Entreprenurial types are often gluttons for opportunities, and you’ll often find them wearing many more hats than seem feasible. Takes one to know one.
The massive influence of women online
Shaherose gave us great insights into how social networking has disrupted (‘disruption’ being a key word we heard regularly on the trip) every industry and how much of an influence women are having online – a trend she would like to see continue.
But interestingly she has also conducted extensive research and has an active interest in the influence of women on its use and purchasing decisions.
Check out some of these insightful stats she sourced and shared at the breakfast:
• 71% of daily active users on Facebook are female.
• Women follow twice as many people as men on Twitter.
• Women use their mobile phones 22% more than men.
• Women buy more electronic devices than men
• Even in the auto industry, 62% of new purchases are made by women and 65-85% of service/maintenance decisions are made by women
• 75% of online spending decisions are made by women
• 22% women buy 1 thing online every week (not sure if this is a US or global stat, presuming US where the ecommerce market is significantly more mature than global)
In short, according to Shaherose Charania, women are the most powerful and lucrative demographic out there.
Why Women Make Great Leaders
She also said some of their traits lend themselves well to start ups and being a successful entrepreneur. For instance women are good at:
1. Building communities
2. Are resourceful and multi-tasking – something you need as an entrepenreur
3. They understand the market – after all as outlined above we have the biggest influence on pruchases.
4. Coding is a creative expression of something you re looking to build. Women are learning to code in 8 week courses in Silicon Valley
5. Collaborative leadership style – women fair better
It appears Shaherose Charania might be onto something. Just this week tech titans Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayers were two of sixteen tech leaders on the infamous Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Facebook COO and Lean in author Sandberg placed at #6 and Mayers placed at number #32. The list also included Google SVP Susan Wojcicki at #30, Microsoft CFO Amy Hood at #63, and HPs Meg Whitman at #15.
According to a story in Ad Week when putting together the list Forbes considers three factors. They include money, which means company revenue, income, or GDP. They also consider media presence such as news hits, TV and radio appearances, and social media following. Finally, the editors consider the person’s impact. Read more at http://www.women2.com/#Cws2VwRlZ0xoljJl.99
Shaherose Charania parting words? Disrupt, design and build on your own terms.
I like that. On your own terms.