Panel Recap: Women in Tech
In the third panel, three leaders in their respective industries discussed the need for female diversity in all fields and shared their thoughts on what more can be done to ensure women and young girls are encouraged to go into the STEM workforce. They concluded the final panel of the event with their unique perspectives on the importance of role models.
Shared insights from the event:
Lilit Davtyan, CEO & CFO, Phonexa: Technology has allowed consumers the ability to reach their desired products/services much faster and in a more convenient manner. It has also encouraged technology companies, like Phonexa, to take further measures to protect consumer data as well as create algorithms that address consumers’ needs more efficiently.
Abyah Wynn, Fund Manager, True Capital: For starters, without technology I might not have a job. Innovation and technology fuel the landscape for investors. As tech companies successfully raise venture capital, grow, scale, and have exit opportunities, the founding teams and early employees can have significant liquidity events. These liquidity events give founding teams and early employees the freedom to become investors themselves or start new companies and continue to build the ecosystem. This is why I’m passionate about supporting companies with underrepresented founders at the helm.
Davtyan: STEM-related industries are everywhere in today’s world. It’s almost hard to imagine an industry that doesn’t now rely on some kind of STEM-related core function. As such, I think this concept should be considered more as an essential skill, rather than a career path, both at the education level as well as in the job market.
Tracy Holland, Founder, Potential to Powerhouse: First, we need to let young women know that entrepreneurship is not only a viable option, but it can also be an especially rewarding one, both personally and professionally. Women own 51 percent of all businesses in the United States, employing 9.4 million people and generating $1.8 trillion a year. Another mind-blowing stat: Women launched 1,821 businesses per day in 2020! Mentorship is an important part of generating this type of growth mindset. It needs to start at an early age so that we can frame the mindset of young women to know that they can transform their ideas into powerhouse businesses. Mentorship needs to include not just business coaching but mindset coaching as well so that the seeds of success are planted.
Source: American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report
Davtyan: I don’t think there are many things more important than networking for personal and career development, especially for women. And this is at any level of growth. We network when we are trying to find the best university or career, we network when we are looking for the next job opportunity after graduating, and we network while we are at the career level. My advice is that we can’t look at networking as solely a form of establishing an immediate business opportunity. A lot of times, the best part of networking is actually building a network that may come in handy in the future.
Wynn: If only I had a crystal ball...I have no idea what the future holds, but that’s the thrilling nature of this industry; anything is possible. What I do know is that the pandemic has accelerated growth and advancement in sectors that I’m really excited about. The future of work, ed-tech, healthcare, and FemTech have all been uniquely affected by the pandemic. I look forward to seeing the next wave of innovation in these sectors. I believe we can also expect to see more emphasis and attention placed on women in these sectors: the working mother, the aging and post-menopausal woman, and women with PCOS and chronic pain. These are women who have been overlooked and thankfully that is starting to change.
Holland: My advice to any entrepreneur starting out is to develop a close network of confidants and successful advisors who have “been there and done that” to broaden your perspective and give you the resolve you need when times get tough -- and believe me, they will. But having a network of smart, focused, and strong women leaders is important at every stage of your career. Established entrepreneurs still need other like-minded women in their circle who want to see them continue to succeed.
About the participants:
Moderator: Tracy Holland
POTENTIAL TO POWERHOUSE
Tracy Holland is a leading innovator in the beauty and wellness industry. As the co-founder and CEO of HatchBeauty Brands, she has built an international reputation as a curator of successful brands with a focus on new brand development for retailers worldwide. Her awards and honors include the 2019 Fashion and Beauty Award for Beauty Service Provider of the Year, EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, and election to the Committee of 200, an organization of the most successful women business leaders globally. A profound supporter of female entrepreneurs, Tracy is also the founder of Potential to Powerhouse, whose goal is to serve women entrepreneurs on their path to becoming superstars with ease and through meaningful connection.
CEO & CFO
As Phonexa’s EVP and CFO, Lilit Davtyan shapes the all-in-one marketing platform for calls, leads, clicks, and email from the C-suite overseeing the company’s business development, strategic growth, client relationships, operational transformation, and financial health. Over the last year, Davtyan’s rise through the ranks has been highlighted bya membership in the Forbes Finance Council, as well as Chief,a private network designed specifically for female leaders. In 2020, Davtyan was named “CFO of the Year” by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Davtyan has overseen an average of $200 million in revenue yearly throughout her tenure for Phonexa Holdings’ businesses in Los Angeles, United Kingdom and Ukraine since 2016. Additionally, Davtyan isa CPA and an Advisory Board Member of Opal Solutions.
Abyah Wynn has built profitable partnerships for investors and entrepreneurs around the world. She is a fund manager at True Capital, a global wealth management firm that specializes in guiding diverse clients across sports, entertainment, and entrepreneurship to financial security and generational wealth. Notably, Wynn is spearheading True Culture, the firm’s first fund dedicated to investing in Black founders and fund managers. Her goal is to strategically add value by helping founders close their rounds and raise subsequent rounds, which is notoriously challenging for founders of color.