Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday's Women of Courage - Cindy Padnos, Illuminate Ventures

In a recent Thursday's Truth post, I focused on the lack of women leaders within the Financial Services industry. Specifically, the fact that there are very few female money managers, despite research that shows a very positive track record vis-a-vis their male counterparts.

Cindy Padnos, Founding Managing Director of Illuminate Ventures, had a sense that an imbalance was also occurring in the High Tech Industry. She researched this topic extensively and is largely responsible for writing a report titled "High Performance Entrepreneurs: Women in High Tech" that shows what many of us have long suspected - women entrepreneurs are poised to lead the next wave of growth in global technology ventures.

That being said, Cindy has set upon a courageous mission through Illuminate: to overcome the apparent lack of female investors willing to back this growth, and their historically risk-averse investment style.

In a recent article in Fast Company, Cindy commented on her drive to break barriers in the male-dominated area VC business: "In her slim spare time, Padnos also serves on the advisory board at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business, where she received her MBA. When she joined the board, she was the only woman; there are now three. "I don't have to fight for a stall in the ladies' room yet, but I'm looking forward to that day," she says. "If we want to encourage more women to enter this industry, we have to have a critical mass."

Please take a moment to download her study at the Illuminate website. You may also find the Fast Company article featuring her here.

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