10 Best Quotes from Women on Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

It’s about not taking 'no' for an answer.

Women in tech, innovation, and entrepreneurship have historically had some pretty big hurdles to clear – like being approved for small business financing less often than men. Or the fact that male-owned companies get 16 times more VC funding than those owned by women. Or even the significant gender gap in the technology and science fields, despite the fact that both boys and girls perform equally well in STEM programs.

But the women at the UN Women Global Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship Industry Forum want to change all that.

The conference, held Sept. 14 at 10 Hudson Yards in New York City and supported by SAP-Next Gen and UN Women, featured a laundry list of impressive leaders, innovators and social entrepreneurs, from United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed to UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to Meredith Walker, co-founder of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, even Sarah Michelle Gellar, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Foodstirs.

These women – and a few men, as well – shared their experiences and thoughts on how innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship can help close the gender gap for good. Here’s what they said:

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She’s devoted her career to human rights, equality, social justice issues, and also worked to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.

Yannick Glemarec, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women

Yannick Glemarec, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women

Yannick Glemarec is the UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, one of two deputies to the executive director of UN Women. He has experience in international policy development, large-scale program management, and finance. Prior to his post at UN Women, he was the Executive Coordinator of the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, which manages more than $8 billion in funds earmarked for humanitarian needs around the world.

Alicia Tillman, Chief Marketing Officer for SAP Ariba

Alicia Tillman, Chief Marketing Officer for SAP Ariba

As Chief Marketing Officer for SAP Ariba, Alicia Tillman heads up the development of the organization’s global marketing strategy. Prior to her post at SAP, she spent 11 years at American Express, where she was the head of Marketing and Business Services, as well as head of Public Affairs, Corporate Communications and Media Relations for the Global Business Travel division.

Ali Marano, Executive Director of Technology for Social Good, Diversity & Inclusion at JPMorgan Chase

Ali Marano, Executive Director of Technology for Social Good, Diversity & Inclusion at JPMorgan Chase

Ali Marano is the Executive Director of Technology for Social Good, Diversity & Inclusion at JPMorgan Chase. She’s a member of the board of directors for Code To Work and Global Nomads Group. Prior to her position at JPMorgan, she was the director of strategic partnerships at NPower.

Lorraine Hariton, Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships at the NY Academy of Science

Lorraine Hariton, Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships at the NY Academy of Science

Lorraine Hariton is the Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships at the NY Academy of Science, where she recruits government and corporate sponsors for the academy’s Global STEM Alliance. Prior to this, she was appointed by Secretary Hillary Clinton at the Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

 

Nate Hurst, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer at HP

Nate Hurst, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer at HP

Nate Hurst is the Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer at HP. He has nearly two decades of experience in environmental sustainability. Prior to his post at HP, he was the director of sustainability, public affairs, and government relations for Walmart.

Meredith Walker, co-founder and Executive Director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

Meredith Walker, co-founder and Executive Director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

Meredith Walker is the co-founder and Executive Director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. Prior to this position, she was a producer at Peabody and Emmy-winning Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, as well as head of talent development at Saturday Night Live.

 

Christyl Johnson, Deputy Director for Technology and Research Investments at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Christyl Johnson, Deputy Director for Technology and Research Investments at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Christyl Johnson is Deputy Director for Technology and Research Investments at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where she manages the research and development portfolio. Prior to this post, Johnson served under the President’s science adviser as the executive director of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), as well as various other roles within NASA.

Shaloo Garg, Global Innovation and Startup Ecosystem at Oracle

Shaloo Garg, Global Innovation and Startup Ecosystem at Oracle

Shaloo Garg is Global Innovation and Startup Ecosystem at Oracle. She’s also a board advisor for Junior Achievement of Northern California and a lead mentor at HUB Silicon Valley. She’s held several other positions at Oracle, including senior director of sales strategy, senior director of global marketing and GTM Strategy, and director of mergers and acquisition.

 

Sarah Michelle Gellar, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer at Foodstirs

Sarah Michelle Gellar, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer at Foodstirs

Sarah Michelle Gellar is an actress and co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Foodstirs, which sells organic and GMO-free baking mixes and dessert kits. The Los Angeles-based company is also the first USDA organic and gluten-free product to make use of biodynamic sugar.

 

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