Word from the AuthorMarta Zucker – Global Women in the Start-up World

Word from the Author

Marta Zucker holds a Master’s degree from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. She began her career in Bucharest building, the Romanian branch of an international company from scratch. She also founded a successful television and film production company in Warsaw. For many years she has worked with the Torun business consulting firm KarStanS Ltd. Marta also consulted independently in New York and San Francisco. For the last five years she has been working with the start-up community in Silicon Valley and in Poland.

From the Author

Global Women in the World of Start-ups: Conversations in Silicon Valleyis a continuation of my previous book: “Talent Olympics in Silicon Valley: Conversations with Start-up Masters.”

During my author’s meeting in Palo Alto at the US-Polish Trade Council, one of my readers asked me why there were no women in The Olympics of Talents? Were there only men working in IT? Why did I create an artificial male–female divide? It was purely accidental; however, it is true that the field of new technologies is dominated by men.

Why are there fewer women in senior positions in business and in politics? There are many factors contributing to the fact that women are in the minority among start-up founders.

Although women play a more and more important role at many levels of the economic and political world they still face challenges and difficulties, which can be especially acute in dynamically developing industries where men are the majority of leaders. There is a growing awareness of the tough time facing women in Silicon Valley.

My interviewees are globally minded and strong—they are women who are not afraid of new challenges. The women who are worth following and who deserve to become our role models.

Meet seven ambitious women who consistently achieve their chosen goals, women who are not afraid:

Patrycja Slawuta

Ela Madej

Julia Krysztofiak-Szopa

Amelia Krysztofiak

Kate Scisel

Zuzanna Stańska

Kamila Sidor

My protagonists speak on important topics. They share the stories of their successes and setbacks. They talk about finding their passion and ­fulfillment in their work. They wonder how to combine the role of a mother with that of an entrepreneur.

There is a saying in Silicon Valley that if a programmer comes to a conference in a dress no one would treat her as a serious partner in conversation. Yet if she wears jeans and a T-shirt we can talk with her about coding. A question arises whether a 21st century programmer working at ground zero of modern technology called Silicon Valley simply cannot be feminine?

The new technology industry is a fantastic place for anyone, male or female, although women there are still in the minority. There are still too few coders, although it is changing. Professional organizations support women and this process seems to spread. Still, it is important for women not to close themselves off in just their own circle. We should promote women not just because they are women but also because they are educated, wise, hardworking, and have passion.

Women often set themselves higher standards than men, they want to be fulfilled not just in their careers but as mothers and it is a difficult feat. What about men who have kids? Let’s hope that paternal leave becomes more common.

Is it true that you really cannot be a programmer wearing a dress? Let’s destroy such myths. With this book I would like to encourage all women and girls to “join the game.” The youngest generation of today does not accept artificial division of the world into “pink” and “blue,” for toys just for boys or girls. We will not repress their wisdom. As a final note I will cite the words of Van Anh Dam, a mentor in Warsaw and the author of the educational program “Girls Code Fun”: “One of our 11-year olds students, after creating her first computer game was asked by journalists who was better at programming—boys or girls. She said she didn’t know, as she did not have time to think about it. And that was the best of possible answers.”—said Van Anh Dam at the Businesswomen of the Year gala.1

***

Thank you to all who helped to make this book happen.

I would also like to thank those individuals who supported this ­project by donating to the crowdfunding campaign for the book’s translation. Your contribution, individually and collectively, is deeply appreciated. All the names are in alphabetical order.


Róża Chojnacka

Lukasz Czerwinski

Maria Duch

Yuka Ioroi

Gosia Kacprzak

Daniel Kindra

Zosia Kostyrko

Sebastian Krawczuk

Ewa Lemanowicz

Mary Beth Stockman

Aldona Woroniecka

Anthony Zukovsky

—Marta Zucker


1 “Bizneswomen Roku nie chcą pomocy od państwa.” www.money.pl ­(accessed February 26, 2016).