The Power of Women
Elle's fourth annual Women in Tech power list celebrates the founders, execs, engineers, and VCs shaking up the world's most powerful industry—and challenge everything from your micro biome to your extra bedroom.
Partner, Sequoia Capital
Jess Lee became the first female partner in the U.S. at venture capital firm Sequoia. "Seek that out." This philosophy was what led her to take a project manager job at Google in 2004 (working for Marissa Mayer, then Google's director of consumer Web services), when she was fresh out of Stanford's computer science program, with plans to be a software engineer, she's followed it ever since. "My advice is to figure out what makes you amazing, lean into that, and become really successful," she says. "Then you help show the next generation of female entrepreneurs it can be done."
My friends, Let's add those three potent words "Seek that out" to our daily mantra.
Piraye Yurttas Bein
Founder & CEO Celmatix
Piraye Yurttas Beim was in her first year of the PhD molecular biology program at Cornell in 2001 when it was announced that the human genome had been decoded. The news left an indelible impact: "I was really inspired by the idea that you could use genetics to guide life decisions," she says. So in 2009, when she was studying embryology at Cambridge University, she was shocked to discover that no one was utilizing what was known about the genetic drivers of infertility to help patients. Soon after, she left Cambridge, moved to New York, and launched a biotech company, Celmatix, which this past January released “Fertilome”, the first comprehensive genetic test dedicated to revealing what a woman's DNA says about her reproductive health. (The blood test is available through doctors' offices and costs $950 out of pocket.)
Beim was drawn to infertility because she found it a fascinating scientific puzzle. But at 32, just married and in the midst of getting Celmatix off the ground, she was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserves. Knowing she'd soon lose the ability to have children, Beim had three in four years. (She's pictured above with her youngest.) "My investors have rarely seen me not pregnant," she says. (It hasn't been an impediment—she's raised $47 million.) This firsthand experience informs her advocacy for testing patients' fertility before they become one of the 7.5 million American women struggling to conceive. "It's not theoretical for me," she says. "It's personal."
Women are essential to helping each other and it's time to start to empower each other to achieve our goals. Coco & Cyd will always encourage women everywhere to pursue their dreams. We are all so powerful and there's only one way to go - - and that's up. And we all need a little help getting there.
Coco & Cyd
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