MOJO Maker for Womxn in Tech
Episode #18: Chenxi Wang: VC and Cybersecurity Fund Founder Shares Insights for Women in Tech.
Sep 21, 2020
Karen Freeman Worstell
Episode 18: Show Notes.
Diversity and representation are incredibly important in technology, and while change is not going to occur overnight, tangible shifts are happening. Today's guest, Chenxi Wang, is recognized as an advocate for diversity and equality in the high-tech world, and she is at the forefront of the work to make tech more equitable. Along with her Ph.D. in Computer Science and her academic experience, Chenxi also has extensive practical knowledge, which has culminated in her role as Founder and Managing Partner of Rain Capital.
In this episode, we gain insights into what led Chenxi to tech, and she shares the influence that her mother’s career as a math teacher and professor had on her. We also unpack the decline in the number of women developers and some of the factors that may be influencing this downward trend. As a WOC fund manager,
Chenxi knows that she is in an incredibly unique position, and she does not take this lightly. She expands on how actively pursuing inclusion and working to overcome implicit bias has led Rain Capital to have a portfolio with over 40% woman-founded companies. Along with this, we also discuss what great leaders do to uplift their teams, advice for those hoping to make their mark in the world of tech, and why you should always ask questions. This was an incredible conversation with an inspiring woman tech leader. To hear more, tune in today!
Key Points From This Episode:
- Get to know Chenxi, her diverse professional background, and what she is up to now.
- The factors that influenced Chenxi to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science.
- Why Chenxi thinks the stereotypical portrayal of developers in media dissuades women to pursue this path.
- The disconnect between what is taught at college in computer science and what it takes to succeed practically.
- A twofold way to address inequity in tech — Organization reform and the individual woman.
- Some of the positive shifts that are happening in the industry, like in cybersecurity.
- Chenxi’s unique role as a woman of color fund manager and what’s she’s doing for other women.
- The percent of woman-founded companies Rain Capital is backing.
- Changes that Chenxi is seeing in diversity in the Silicon Valley landscape.
- What Chenxi has noticed about the woman-founded companies in her fund.
- A mentor that made Chenxi realize that her contribution was valuable.
- The gradual nature of change and the importance of reflecting on how far you have come.
- Chenxi’s advice for marginalized groups coming up in cybersecurity: Hone in on your strengths.
- You have to know yourself and what makes you tick.
- No matter how experienced you are, always ask questions from those with knowledge.
- Develop skills outside of the technical competencies to stand out.
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Create Your Leading Edge Challenge
Chenxi Wang on Twitter
Chenxi Wang on LinkedIn
Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley
Emily Chang on Twitter