Female models in Tech - a conversation with Chenxi Wang

Jane Bond is the female version of the very famous James Bond, a woman standing out in a field dominated by (manly) heroes saving the world. That’s what Chenxi Wang had in mind when she founded the Jane Bond Project -- “to be someone who comes in and saves the world, whatever that world looks like”, as she put it.

Dr. Wang started her career as a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia. She was Vice President of Strategy at Intel Security, Vice President of Research at Forrester, and the Chief Strategy Officer at Twistlock. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors at the Open Web Application Security Project.

This year, she founded Rain Capital, a venture fund that focuses on providing capital, strategy, critical resources and unique insights to early-stage cybersecurity companies in Silicon Valley. It is worth mentioning that this is the first cyber investment firm with an all-female partner team. A major point of interest for the company is to boost funding to women-led organizations.

Last week we had an exciting opportunity to speak to Dr. Wang and find out more about her efforts to support women in cybersecurity and technology. Our guests were leaders from the innovation and IT ecosystems in Romania, including several partners from the Everygirl Everywhere Alliance (such as Codette and Girls who Code), strategic partners like First Tech Challenge, and representatives of IT companies associated with the EE Alliance who focus on digital strategies and gender diversity. We also had the chance to speak to officials from the legal sector who provided insight regarding several of the challenges faced, as well as the need for change with regard to public policies and regulations.

We introduced Dr. Wang to EveryGirl Everywhere, an SEE project with the objective to encourage more women to participate in tech and digital. She appreciated the initiative and revealed that out of the 6 companies that Rain Capital has funded so far, 3 of them have female founders. However, only 11% of people working in cybersecurity are women. The one hour discussion focused on the main challenges that women face in the tech industry, as well as opportunities for action.


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RO100 Cafe: Gender parity in tech and digital: a strategic priority

The Romania 100 Platform supports women participation in the tech & digital sectors. An increase in women's participation within the tech sector will provide a major boost to the economy, and could be an efficient solution to national workforce shortages in IT&C & digital sectors, given the exodus of Romanian specialists abroad. These are some of the conclusions drawn at the RO100 Cafe #digital community’s event,  “The Digital Future and Gender Parity in IT - a Strategic Priority”, that was recently held in Bucharest and focused on women's participation in the digital economy.

According to the participants, Romania has to join European and global efforts to involve more women in the tech & digital sectors, amid growing demand for specialists and policies to reduce gender disparities in key economic areas.

Beyond the ethical perspective, encouraging girls’ participation in digital domains is an economically needed measure. If more women chose a STEM career, they would provide a solution to a global problem: the lack of workforce in this area. Also, we are talking about the jobs of the future, we must keep in mind that we cannot leave half of the population behind,” said Diana Popp, co-founder of Smart Everything Everywhere (SEE40).

The Romanian economy could benefit from an increased number of women in the IT&C & digital sectors, but training programs and development opportunities are still needed.

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