As a small company working with large technology firms, we've learned some difficult lessons about how to navigate the corporate world. As the white, male founder of a firm, but with 'hidden' diversity (all of our current employees qualify as at least one protected class, such as women, members of the LGBT community and/or disabled) I have seen a lot of conversations where people assumed I was one of the old boys' club, and had at least as many where I was definitely not in the 'club.' What I've learned is that mentorship is the second prize: sponsorship is what really matters. I first heard the term 'sponsorship' at the BlogHer Business, Entertainment and Technology conference a few years ago. In contrast to the (useful) mentorship and coaching models, which are mostly about advice in a private setting, sponsorship is the concept of lending or giving tangible and intangible resources to others to help them get a leg up—like reputation, connections, leads, money or access
Since we began our focus on innovation teams, we have been spending more and more time in the Bay Area. Now, we're excited to announced that both Causeit and its flipbook entertainment project business, Fliptography, are present in San Francisco, after our nine-month pilot expansion.
I'm here at BlogHer's blogher | bet 2011 conference. It's been great to see the amazing speakers talking about being a woman of power in business, how to "Manage Up" and how to deliver a pitch which is both effective and authentic. Here's the conference concept:
If you're a woman who has a big idea that involves technology, the Internet or social media, we have an opportunity for you. With the leadership of 50 pioneering entrepreneurs, technologists and business leaders, BlogHer is hosting a special event for women who want to start something. Whether you're considering a start-up of your own, or innovating from inside a company, we invite you to join BlogHer's 2011 Business, Entrepreurism and Technology conference on March 24-25 in Silicon Valley.
Check it out by following @causeit and the hasthag #blogher or #blogherbet on Twitter.