ΕΠΙΛΕΓΜΕΝΑ ΑΡΘΡΑ ΤΗΣ ERGON ΣΥΜΒΟΥΛΟΙ ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΟΙ

[ERGONCON][slideshow]

This CEO Turns Women's Ideas Into Thriving Businesses

Ari Horie, Founder and CEO of Women's Startup Lab
If you think that only millennials are bringing their dreams to work, spend some time with Ari Horie, Founder and CEO of Women’s Startup Lab, a Silicon Valley accelerator with a mission to empower women entrepreneurs. Women's Startup Lab furnishes women with the confidence and tools needed to turn their visionary ideas into successful businesses.

Participants in the Women’s Startup Lab are as likely to be stay-at home moms in their 30s and 40s, or empty-nesting on-rampers in their 50s, as the more typical 20-something newly emerged from college, hoping to change the world. Successful businesswomen are already emerging from Women’s Startup Lab, now in its fourth year. Some are leading flourishing new enterprises; others have already attracted buyouts from larger companies.

Bridging the Gap

Horie, like a growing number of successful mid-career female executives, wants to bridge the gender gap in technology employment. Overwhelmingly the domain of men, the number of women business founders and/or leaders in technology still only hovers at about 25 percent of the total, disproportionately small, of course, compared to the fact that about 50 percent of the total workforce is now female.

Now, as allegations of sexual harassment of female founders by male venture capitalists seem to be a daily media occurrence, the need to disrupt the status quo feels like more of an imperative than ever. And Horie, with her unique blend of Japanese-inspired teachings or “Hitology,” as she calls them, and her undying passion to bring about fundamental change is doing just that. Horie’s goal is to improve the diversity balance by developing distinctive women leaders, who can then pay-it-forward as advocates and mentors for future generations of young women. She attributes her motivationto Denise Brousseau: “If someone has to lead, why not you?” It is a question, perhaps, that more of us need to ask ourselves.

She articulates her drive this way: “ I want to advance women entrepreneurs , so that they can thrive among men and also influence the world. It’s about integration and it’s about embracing differences and zeroing in on the true potential that is unique to the individual. It’s not judging with our limited “mind frame” that is created by culture, value, or the era we are born into. Create and Embrace and Thrive – it’s my true passion, a time when we can provide a path to help each innovator soar with our support and network that are unlimited to global opportunity.”

Living by Example

Women’s Startup Lab provides more than advice, techniques, mentors and connections. Horie’s own life is a powerful example of aspiration and hard work pitted against obstacles to great success. From her humble upbringing in Japan to gaining a foothold as an immigrant to the United States, carving out a successful corporate career culminating at IBM and then transitioning to be a serial entrepreneur—Women’s Startup Lab is only one of several new ventures that boast her imprint—Horie offers insight from her personal adventures in the startup realm as a Japanese-American Woman. It’s no easy task, as evidenced by the fact that she goes to bed early and typically gets up at 3:30 AM; pursuing dreams requires commitment, willingness to sacrifice, and overcoming fear of the unknown and uncertain.

Horie is a frequent speaker on gender diversity, and most recently provided the keynote address at the 2016 Japan-U.S. Innovation Awards Symposium held at Stanford University in July. She was named one of CNN’s Top 20 Visionary Women of 2014, as well as the one of Forty over 40 Women to Watch in 2015.

Whitney Johnson is the author of the critically-acclaimed Disrupt Yourself, host of a podcast by the same name, and a co-founder with Christina Vuleta, of Forty Women Over 40 to Watch.

Forbes.com

 

 

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