I've had nearly fifty meetings with investors over the past few months and most of them were men. So when I was invited to attend an event where I'd get to meet four of the most prominent female VCs in Silicon Valley I was all over it. The event was a book party for the newly released Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took On Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime.
I started reading the book in the cab on my way home and devoured it in two days. The author, Julian Guthrie, is an award-winning journalist who spent twenty years at the San Francisco Chronicle and has the prose to show for it. Through mechanical research and vivid storytelling, Guthrie charts the course of four pioneers: Magdalena Yesil, Mary Jane Elmore, Theresia Gouw, and Sonja Hoel. These women helped define the high-stakes world of venture capital and made many tiny startups household names including Salesforce, Facebook, and Google. Reading about these women's influence, I hovered between shocked and infuriated that I had never heard their stories before. Whether it was workplace discrimination or personal tragedy, these women emerged from each fire more resilient and determined than they had been before. Alpha Girls is a must read for anyone who is pushing through any kind of adversity and needs to know without a shadow of a doubt: I can do this.