Workday recently had the honor of being a Platinum Sponsor of VMware’s Women Transforming Technology Conference, an event that convenes companies and organizations in industry, academia, and non-profit sectors that are committed to building community and tackling issues that are top of mind for women in technology. It’s an impressive conference, and has grown from a modest 400-person gathering to 10,0000-plus participants from more than 30 countries. The conference seeks to inspire, support, and connect women in all areas and levels of technology—in Silicon Valley and beyond—and this year’s event was no exception.
The theme of the conference was “Resilience” and, aptly, it took place virtually as the world continues to navigate a new normal in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many workers have been affected, women have been some of the hardest hit, due to their frequent role as primary caregivers—whether for childcare, online school, or elder care. Women of all ages and experiences have had to rethink how they network, negotiate, and advance their careers without the benefit of in-person interaction.
More than half of the speakers at the Women Transforming Technology Conference were women of color, with expertise in a variety of areas. I was proud to see fellow women Workmates sharing tips and ideas with peers across the industry, knowing the specific challenges that forced all of us to think and act differently in our work environment. My colleague Erin Yang, vice president and chief technologist of Workday Ventures, shared her career trajectory and gave advice on how to proactively and thoughtfully change the direction of one’s career path. Other Workmate-led sessions touched on areas including interview tips, technical topics such as security, and how to advocate for yourself throughout your career.
VMware’s Women Transforming Technology aligns with Workday Ventures’ goals and vision to support a strong, inclusive future. It underscores our commitment to invest in innovative companies led by diverse founding teams. In fact, one-third of our portfolio companies are led or founded by women, and the Ventures team carefully evaluates the diversity of portfolio company founders, management teams, and investors as part of our due diligence.
Connecting women in leadership and encouraging innovative technological breakthroughs that support the C-suite are key tenets to Workday Ventures.
Our commitment to investing in the best companies is demonstrated in our portfolio partners like Papaya Global, which offers a total workforce management solution supporting global workers (payroll, Employer of Record (EoR), and contractors) in over 140 countries. Papaya Global CEO Eynat Guez co-founded Papaya after seeing a technology gap in global payroll, recognizing that it is most cost efficient for customers to process payroll and payments in a continuum. Guez recently raised $100 million, making Papaya Israel’s first woman-led “unicorn.”
Workday Ventures has also invested in Tealbook, which increases the scale and productivity of procurement systems. Its Founder and CEO Stephany Lapierre, who mentors many women tech founders, is paying it forward to fellow entrepreneurs. In 2020 Lapierre passionately challenged her team to create a more diverse company. Now, Tealbook is more than 50% women, racially diverse, and has a majority of women leaders across departments. In addition, half the board members are women, and the engineering team is 38% women and growing. Tealbook also helps enterprises access small and diverse businesses including growing opportunities for women-owned businesses. Bottom line: diverse leadership and thought bring fresh perspectives to problem solving and end-user empathy, which benefits both businesses and customers.
Connecting women in leadership and encouraging innovative technological breakthroughs that support the C-suite are key tenets to Workday Ventures. Workday Ventures is proud to be part of outstanding events and networking opportunities for women, as well as champion our mission to provide opportunities for the next generation of women entrepreneurs.