Reflection: Recognizing the Power of Women in EdTech at ASU+GSV Conference
Beginning on April 17, members of the Cambium Family attended the 2023 ASU+GSV Summit, where we connected with some of the brightest and most innovative minds in education technology, shared some of our own insights during panel discussions and highlighted the hard work and dedication of edtech professionals.
During the conference, I was lucky enough to present the 2023 Power of Women Awards to a group of extraordinary women leaders in the industry. When Deborah Quazzo, managing partner of GSV Ventures and co-founder of the ASU+GSV Summit, created these awards, her goal was to highlight the important work women are doing at scale in the learning and skill-building sectors. The Power of Women Awards recognize female executives who are working to ensure all people have equal access to the future through scaled innovations in education and skills.
This year's award winners are leaders who inspire the world with their success - collectively impacting well over 250 million learners pre-K to gray through their work. Considering only 16% of edtech CEOs are women, it is essential to recognize and celebrate those in edtech leadership positions and their contributions to the industry. This year’s winners include:
- Former NewSchools Venture Fund & AERDF CEO Stacey Childress
- Presence CEO Kate Eberle Walker
- Savvas Learning Company CEO Bethlam Forsa
- National Louis University President Nivine Megahed
- Zum Co-founder & CEO Ritu Narayan
- Articulate CEO Lucy Suros
- DreamBox Learning® President & CEO Jessie Woolley-Wilson
- ASU Prep Academy & ASU Prep Digital Managing Director Julie Young
- Cambium Chairman & CEO Ashley Andersen Zantop
Following the event, as I reflect on this experience and cherish the meaningful conversations I had with the Power of Women Award winners, I wanted to share some of the key takeaways I learned from the recipients.
Find Your #Dreamteam - We Cannot Do This Alone
It can be difficult to navigate being a woman in leadership alone. Asking for help, networking with peers and being open to mentorship creates a sense of community that propels all women forward. When we are intentional about finding our #dreamteam, we can surround ourselves with people who we can lean on during our challenging days and motivate us to do more than we think is possible. As a collective, we can share our unique perspectives and expand the conversations being had within the industry.
Drive An Inclusive Culture
As leaders, we have to remember the importance of creating an inclusive organizational culture and offering differentiated support to our team members. No one employee is the same, each has unique goals and desires for their work. This means it is our responsibility to find the best ways to help them achieve something they may not think possible. Employees are eager to be a part of the culture-building process and they have a wealth of ideas to offer in this space. My hope is that leaders take the time upfront to engage your staff in these critical conversations. In doing so, you will help employees see their role in being a positive culture carrier throughout the organization.
Regrounding in Your Purpose
The past few years have been some of the most difficult times many of us have dealt with, not only in our careers but in our personal lives as well. When facing these kinds of challenges, it is essential to keep your purpose, what drives you, what brings you energy, at the center of everything you do. Whenever the demands of work become overwhelming, grounding yourself with your why can reignite your passion for work and bring back the joy that drove you towards your career choices in the first place.
It was a privilege to be a part of this process and celebrate the hard work and dedication of this year’s winners. I am looking forward to linking arms with this community and our allies to use our power to, as Deborah Quazzo says, change the world for good in service of providing access to learning and skills that change the trajectory of people’s lives.
If you’re interested in learning more about the awards and women recognized, check out the winner announcement here.