By Annie Wilson, Intern
Last Wednesday, July 15th, CEO and co-founder of online shopping startup Joyus, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy launched a new initiative at Fortune’s Brainstorm conference in Aspen and her goal is simple: to close the gender gap in the tech industry.
Singh Cassidy launched the Choose Possibility Project, which includes the ‘Boardlist,’ a database comprised of vetted, qualified female industry professionals who have been nominated by startup founders, investors and executives. The aim: to make the gender ratio amongst board members for up and coming tech startups more equitable and to increase opportunity for women in tech. Thus far, ‘Boardlist’ has partnered with 50 members of the tech industry, including 18 venture capitalists, to help the project succeed.
Singh Cassidy hopes that the accessible nature of the ‘Boardlist’ will undercut the excuse that many tech leaders use when trying to diversify their board: that there are a limited number of qualified female candidates that they have exposure to. The database itself is already comprised of over 700 women and the hope is that with the increased accessibility to these candidates there will be a positive change in leadership for the tech industry.
Although the industry still has a lot to accomplish for gender equity for their employee demographics, Singh Cassidy believes that focusing on the boardroom could make a substantial impact. “There is in fact a discovery problem,” she said, adding that “this is access to talent, not about filling some quotas,” as diversity efforts are often mistaken.
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Interested in joining the project and becoming a part of the ‘Boardlist’? Click here.