Do you ever feel like in order to make money, you have to actually have money? Take the most basic business: a lemonade stand. You have to shell out funds for the lemonade, cups, signage and the table you use. You even need to have some cash on hand from the get-go, in case a customer needs change. What if you have none of that because—hello—you’re 8 years old? Well, that’s when it comes time to pitch to investors, aka your parents. And while you might feel like you’re making pure profit, you now have shareholders dictating your business strategy! But if that’s what it takes to run your own venture, it’s worth it, right?
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 54 of 755
Research outfit CrunchBase recently released its Women in Venture report, aimed at determining how many women are true investing partners at leading venture-capital firms, and what researchers found is pretty mind-blowing. When analysts examined data from the top 100 venture-capital firms globally, they discovered 54 of the 755 partners are women. That’s only 7 stinkin’ percent!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Sue Siegel, Chief Innovation Officer of GE and CEO of GE Ventures
Today’s Woman to Watch is nothing if not innovative. In fact, innovation is at the heart of her life’s work. Sue Siegel is the CEO of GE Ventures and was recently named the chief innovation officer for GE, the multinational conglomerate corporation with divisions ranging from energy and aviation to health care, software development and life sciences.
Before we dive into Sue’s remarkable career, let’s talk a little about her background. While attending a competition in 2016 to promote gender parity in the venture-capital industry, Sue shared the story of her mother. Her mom, a self-made woman, graduated from the University of the Philippines, and from there, earned three more degrees, one of which she earned at Yale University.
When Sue was a teenager, she and her mother visited Yale. There, in a building her mother had frequented during graduate school, Sue noticed a row of photos of scholarly men, and among them, one single photo of a brave-looking woman: her mother, who, Sue then learned, was the very first woman to earn a graduate degree from the Yale School of Forestry. With that kind of inspiring role model, it’s obvious Sue has her roots grounded in dedication and the energy to go, go, go.
Sue has made her own headway in a male-dominated environment. For the past three decades, she’s led investments in the corporate world and served on the boards of companies focused on digital health and medicine. In her role at GE Ventures, an innovation engine she helped launch, Sue is responsible for fast-tracking startups with potential, creating new business models, developing new markets and nurturing ideas. She’s known for her strategic approach and, among her community, as one of the 100 most influential women in Silicon Valley.
One of Sue’s key interests is health care. She leads Healthymagination at GE, which looks for solutions to global health challenges. This includes building coalitions that support improving population health and reducing health-care costs. It also involves piloting new technology to drive better health through innovation.
Of course, we’ve all heard of GE, a Fortune 500 company and the 13th largest firm in the United States by gross revenue. That means Sue earning her way to the C-suite was challenging, and her job definitely comes with a lot of responsibility. It also means she’s making an incredible and positive impact on hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world.
QUITE THE QUOTE
With Sue Siegel’s career in mind, I’ll leave you today with this quote from the founder of a health-focused tech biz, Rebecca Woodcock:
“Don’t waste a single second. Just move forward as fast as you can, and go for it.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.