Girls in Tech

Silicon Valley's Girls in Tech network to make its mark in France

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Thankfully, it seems that the days of the male-dominated tech scene are behind us. Leading ladies like Google’s Marissa Mayer, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and even Yahoo’s Carol Bartz are a few names that often make the spotlight and somewhat balance the scorecard. And in France, the spotlight perhaps doesn’t get any brighter than that of the Minister of Digital Economy, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. So it’s hardly surprising that numerous groups are popping up to support and encourage women in entrepreneurship, innovation and technology – including Silicon Valley-based Girls in Tech, which will make its debut in Paris at the end of the month.

The Girls in Tech network was founded in San Francisco in 2007 by Adriana Gascoigne, who is currently the VP of Marketing for SecondMarket. Girls in Tech strives to encourage and promote the advancement of women in entrepreneurship, innovation and technology through various networking events and functions. With over 7,000 current members, the group has local branches in a number of foreign countries including Greece, India, China, the UAE and now France – which is the second European country to be part of the network after Greece. Looks like Girls in Tech is turning out to be a real global movement!

Yet, the idea of uniting women in technology is hardly a new initiative for France. For example, Girlz in Web is a local community for women in the web space, that hosts a number of girl-only networking events. Also, Paris Girl Geek Dinners – which is the French branch of a London-based organization – has also held numerous successful events, where women gather around a meal and talk tech.

But contrary to what one would’ve thought, Girls in Tech Paris is NOT no boys allowed – in fact, the group encourages male participation in order to present the female success stories that may not be as visible at other tech events. So not to worry, this is pretty much the opposite of a girls-only event to talk about fashion and babies; the idea is to unite the crème de la crème of local women in tech to highlight their acheivements, experiences and thoughts on today’s trends.

So the first Girls in Tech Paris event is set to feature three very impressive ladies with incredibly different backgrounds: Amélie Faure, a serial entrepreneur currently working with French start-ups Bonitasoft, Augure and QuelleEnergie; Eliane Fiolet, the San Francisco-based founder of leading gadget-blog Ubergizmo, and Céline Lazorthes, the young founder of French start-up Leetchi.

The event attracted a surprising amount of attention and tickets actually event sold-out in under a week. However, thanks to sponsors Microsoft BizsparkUsineadesignSpotify and FaberNovel, additional tickets will soon go on sale. Still, space is incredibly limited so to anyone interested in attending, be sure to keep an eye out.

PS: I am one of the co-organizers of Girls in Tech Paris, along with Mounia Rkha of French VC firm Ventech.

  • amy

    Wow, I am a girl in tech, lived in Silicon Valley for 12 years & worked at a big tech association for professionals, but have never heard of Girls in Tech…. (sigh) yet I am annoyed by the pink website/logo, I hate being called a “girl” and shudder to see the word empowerment on the home page.

    /sighing

    otherwise, “go girls!”

  • Roger S. and Don D.

    Any speaking opportunities? We’ll do half-day seminars, too.

  • Snitzelglobin in liederhozen

    Sadly efforts like these only set women back even further in their efforts to succeed in their endevors. The implication is always that women need special attention and assistance to become accomplished. Just get out there and work like the rest of us and stop promoting through false representation. For example, when Michelle Obama said that she got into Princeton University because “someone believed in me”, she was dishonest about how she got ahead in life. Be honest with yourself and others if you truely want respect.

  • Delardo

    Are you joking!? I really don’t think that just 6% of female CEOs of the top 100 tech companies = the male-dominated days are behind us. Please DO NOT disseminate misleading information because it’s quite far fetched from the truth:
    http://nyti.ms/WomenInTech

    Sorry to burst your bubble but the last thing our society needs when it comes to this unresolved issue for women is more complacency: http://bit.ly/HBRpaygap

    As a woman, you should really know these staggering facts and as writer you definitely write about them…

  • Ann

    “Thankfully, it seems that the days of the male-dominated tech scene are behind us. ”

    Hm…I’ll believe that as soon as I walk into meeting where the ratio of males to females is bit more balanced than 17:1, and no one asks me in an interview “Would you be comfortable working in an office that is all guys? I mean, you’d be the only woman, is that ok? We do have a woman on marketing staff in our NY office…”

    @Snitzelglobin – first may I recommend you wake up, remove your head from ass and take a deep breath of fresh air – your brain seems to be lacking oxygen.

    1. “Sadly efforts like these only set women back even further in their efforts to succeed in their endevors.”

    Maybe you should endeavor to use spell check.

    2. “Stop promoting through false representation”

    Unless you are referring to the Microsoft exec who was not naturally born with female body parts, this is just beyond dumb. I am a woman with an engineering degree working for a large silicon valley company in a technical role. If I were to join a group of women with the same characteristics, where exactly is the falsehood? The words ‘Girls’ maybe. Am I asking for a raise, a bigger external monitor, or special working conditions because of those characteristics or my belonging to the organization? NO. So where is the promotion?

    3. “For example, when Michelle Obama said that she got into Princeton University…”

    What? What the hell does Michelle Obama getting into Princeton have to do with becoming a DBA, CTO, LAMP stack programmer, or startup founder? Next time, try to find relevant examples to try to back up your statements – which are idiotically general and dimly opinionated. (Probably explains why that example is such a stretch).

    4. “Be honest with yourself and others if you truely want respect.”

    See advice under #1.

    Not all of us cry for attention simply because we use a different bathroom than you. A lot of us do “get out there and work like the rest” and still get paid less, or glossed over by the assumption that our communication skills are ‘naturally’ stronger than our technical skills, or that we’re gonna have a baby sometime soon and therefore shouldn’t get too far into leadership or decision making positions that are tough to fill or keep open while we’re gone. The implication is NOT always that women need special assistance and attention to become accomplished – get a clue, that’s all in your head. This organization and those like it exist for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with what you imply to be shady or dishonest ways at being appreciated, challenged, and supported. Rather, they serve to provide visibility, association, and role models for younger women just starting out in college or in their careers. Don’t kid yourself, men have one just like it called the golf course.

    Even more likely, they serve to combat the opinions, rants, and general stench of ignorance brought forth by guys like you…see: http://xkcd.com/385/ for a perfect example.

  • Jan

    It’s too bad there are not enough mentions of Women 2.0. It’s another group working towards women in tech.

  • http://www.rlife.fr Nielsenaa

    Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, getting no brighter in France? … well this is quite the opposite, shes a complete failure when it comes to “computers”

    She is a politician, not a geek ! the only thing that matters is apparences.. and she has understood geek attitude is the way to go .. but its all rubbish , she is not computer litterate AT ALL and this is what makes me backoff reading the rest of the article (well no, this is techcrunch.. but ill act as if i refused to read further ^^ )

  • http://www.rlife.fr Nielsenaa

    and Please people (specifically Frenchmen) , stop using “2.0” at each and every end of sentence or included as a “shortcut” for explaining something alledgely new (which is generally NOT because you were stuck at the “blog revolution”)

  • Roxanne Varza

    All very valid points.

    Interestingly enough, this same article did not receive anywhere near the same type of reaction on TechCrunch France – which addresses the population where the group is being created.

    Plus, let’s not undermine the women that HAVE made incredible achievements in the tech world. NKM may not be a programmer, but she is nonetheless responsible for the development of France’s digital strategy.

    While the subject of gender equality is treated differently in different countries, women obviously still have quite a ways to go – otherwise there would be no point in this group in the first place. At the same time, the fact that this group can exist and grow in the way that it has been is very telling; not only are there enough women in technology to make it work but also a global initiative and desire to bring women to the foreground.

  • http://advergames.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/revue-de-web-du-31-mai-2010/ Revue de Web du 31 Mai 2010 « Advergame.fr

    […] Autre évènement, c’est celui des Girls in Tech qui arrivent à Paris. Au cas où vous ne connaissez pas, il s’agit d’un évènement qui met en avant le succès des femmes dans les nouvelles technologies et les entreprises liées. Le groupe compte 7000 membres et est très internationalisé puisqu’il possède différentes antennes. Une bonne avancée qui prouve (encore une fois) que les femmes savent aborder des sujets autres que les chaussures… A voir sur Be Geek et TechCrunch. […]

  • http://www.pgi.vc/interviews/our-speaker-speaks-out-today-mounia-rkha/ Our Speaker Speaks Out! Today: Mounia Rkha | Partners for Growth & Innovation

    […] I am very active in my community as I want to get people together and move forward. I first founded a VC network for Junior VCs to meet and share, helping each other, the more experienced ones mentoring the newly arrived. And we joined EVC to build a solid and reliable European network. With Roxanne Varza from TechCrunch France, I am now bringing Girls In Tech to Paris… An inspiring success so far: our first event which included Eliane Fiolet from UberGizmo was totally sold out! […]

  • http://girlsintech.net/2010/07/10/girls-in-tech-paris-kicks-off-summer-with-a-bang/ » Girls in Tech Paris Kicks off Summer with a Bang! : Girls In Tech :

    […] in the tech space (details on the launch and the participants can be found in this article in TechCrunch). Plus, not only was the event covered by a number of local blogs but also by the leading morning […]

  • http://www.advergame.fr/revue-de-web-du-31-mai-2010 Revue de Web du 31 Mai 2010 | Advergame.fr

    […] Autre évènement, c’est celui des Girls in Tech qui arrivent à Paris. Au cas où vous ne connaissez pas, il s’agit d’un évènement qui met en avant le succès des femmes dans les nouvelles technologies et les entreprises liées. Le groupe compte 7000 membres et est très internationalisé puisqu’il possède différentes antennes. Une bonne avancée qui prouve (encore une fois) que les femmes savent aborder des sujets autres que les chaussures… A voir sur Be Geek et TechCrunch. […]

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