By Neesha Bapat (Lead Researcher, “Women in Technology” study, Duke/Stanford University)
We set the stage and you took the mic – telling us about your experiences in the technology industries. Stanford University and the Kauffman Foundation recently partnered with Women 2.0 to conduct a study on women entrepreneurship in technology.
We received a huge outpouring of support and gathered over 500 survey responses from participants around the world. In fact, the community was so excited about our study, that an additional 150+ women in who weren’t entrepreneurs also took the study. We couldn’t count these responses, but it encouraged us to pursue an even bigger project.
While speaking at the Women 2.0 Conference in February, Vivek Wadhwa announced an initiative to write a book about the challenges women face in the tech industry and how we can correct the imbalance. Instead of writing a book in the traditional sense, we will be crowdsourcing both the funding and content to produce the book. What’s more, all funds raised in excess of book production costs will go towards sponsoring women to learn about exponential technologies at Singularity University and women-led companies in the SU Labs accelerator.
We are excited to work with Farai Chideya, who has agreed to lead our writing efforts and curate all the crowdsourced content into a powerful book. Farai is an award-winning journalist and author with extensive experience covering topics in technology, politics, and culture. Founding the site PopandPolitics.com in 1995 (which operated through 2010), she is an entrepreneur in her own right. She has held positions from reporter at ABC News to host of NPR’s News & Notes. With four books and countless articles under her belt, Farai, now a professor at New York University, is a tremendous asset to the campaign.
We are also thrilled to have the support of numerous organizations like Women 2.0, the Kauffman Foundation, Singularity University and indiegogo. But for the book campaign to truly succeed, we also need broad grassroots support from women in tech and their advocates.
That’s why we’re launching the 100 Ambassadors program – to promote our crowdsourcing efforts through social media and word-of-mouth. In addition to helping with marketing and publicity, Ambassadors will have the opportunity to influence campaign decisions from choosing crowdsourcing perks to recommending book titles and more.
To learn more about the book campaign and 100 Ambassadors program, please send an email to Neesha Bapat with a short description of your background and why you’re interested.
About the guest blogger: Neesha Bapat is the Lead Researcher for the “Women in Technology” study at Duke/Stanford University. She was previously the Lead Researcher for the “America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Then and Now.” Neesha holds a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University. Follow her on Twitter at @neesha_bee.