Startmate is pushing hard to get 300 more women into tech startup jobs by the end of 2021 and has enlisted AWS Startups, SafetyCulture and Secure Code Warrior as supporters of the organisation’s female-focused Fellowship program.
The trio have come on board as sponsors of the Fellowship initiative to scale up its mission of address gender inequality in Australian tech startups.
Startmate CEO Michael Batko said the partnerships with some of the country’s most innovative and forward-thinking female leaders will help them take the Fellowship to new audiences and tap into a wider talent pool.
“We’re excited to have the support of these leaders as we work to get 300 women in Australian tech startups within the next 18 months. Their involvement means we have an opportunity to create tangible change on a bigger scale,” Batko said.
Meanwhile, Startmate is preparing for its free virtual summit, the Liminal Conference, July 27-31, in a partnership with Blackbird Ventures. The conference offers “first-hand accounts of career defining moves” by tech leaders.
Speakers include Jodie Auster, Regional GM for APAC at Uber Eats; Roli Saxena, CCO at Brex; May Salami, CEO High Resolves; Laura Chambers, CEO of Willow; and Michelle McHargue, COP at Costanoa.
Liminal also seeks to offer an entry point for women interested in applying to Startmate’s Fellowship program.
The Fellowship program runs for three months and offers candidates intimate access to some of Australia’s best founders and top VCs, first-hand insights, optional internships and 1:1 sessions with startups including unicorn design software company Canva and workplace safety provider SafetyCulture.
Earlier this year, Startmate decided to open its Fellowship program to women only, with the goal of increasing the number of women in top positions with the country’s brightest tech startups.
SafetyCulture VP of People & Culture Anna Wenngren said they wanted to support in initiative that increased diversity in the sector.
“ We see this as a great opportunity to give back to the tech community that we love, plus support women of diverse backgrounds who may not have access to the type of support networks that would allow them to truly shine,” she said.
Startmate’s community lead Sophia Witherington said the women-only Fellowship programs directly addresses the need for Australian tech startups to improve gender equality.
“Startups exist and thrive due to their higher risk appetite, speed of experimentation, and believing in a better solution. We have created this program with the understanding that gender equality can only move forward with intersectionality at the forefront. We invite women of all ages, races, cultural backgrounds and LGBTQIA+ identifying women to apply,” she said.
Batko said one of the biggest challenges start-ups face is finding excellent hires.
“The Startmate Fellowship works to create pathways for talented women to find their sweet spot in a rocketship startup. It does this by providing access to leading mentors who help train Fellows to become exceptional candidates who can thrive in a fast-paced start-up atmosphere,” he said
Carrie Gray completed Startmate’s first women-only Fellowship at the end of May and is now executive assistant to Altassian’s Chief Experience Officer. She joined the program after 12 years overseas.
“As long as you have a willingness to share, learn and be open to feedback, the fellowship can suit all: from rising stars, senior executives, expats returning to Australia and people wanting to return to work after a career break,” she said
“In essence, the more of yourself you give in the fellowship the more you’ll get out of it.”