UPWARD

With over 6,000 members globally and 16 chapters, UPWARD is the only global network supporting the career advancement of executive women. The organization provides an encouraging environment to build trusted relationships, share ideas, and learn new skills. For women in VC specifically, UPWARD provides a specialized track of programming that fosters the skills, knowledge, and connections necessary for success in this industry. UPWARD’s mission is to accelerate career advancement for executive women by:

  • Creating collaborative meet UP gatherings to learn from leaders and to increase networking
  • Cultivating events that build UP members through focused conversations about their professional development
  • Nurturing relationships that help members move UP into the executive ranks during their careers

Opportunities for Engagement

Women in VC
As a membership-based organization, UPWARD develops programming to support its members to Meet UP, Build UP, and Move UP in their professional careers. These programs include: Executive Leadership Training, Mentoring Clinics, Career Development Workshops, Topical Discussions, Table of 10 C-Suite Dinners, Small Group Forums, and our annual Gala Dinners.

Members have access to industry-specific special interest groups (SIG), including one focused on venture capital (VC). As part of the VC SIG, UPWARD brings prominent VCs to keynote events, provides programming to educate and connect entrepreneurs with investors, and to train women seeking VC careers how to thrive in that industry. Women in VC who are interested in participating in these opportunities should apply for UPWARD membership. Membership is free!

Firms & Companies
UPWARD is building community within our member companies with customized diversity and inclusion programming. We work with organizations to understand their objectives, core values, and pain points to create customized programming, leveraging our resources, and track record of delivering high quality events and training to our members. Through these corporate programs, we are helping to shape corporate culture and to create an environment where executive women can thrive. If your firm is interested in participating in these programs, please email us at info@upwardwomen.org.

Men in VC (SF Bay Area)
If women are to make significant progress in the advancement of their careers, securing the engagement and support of men is vital. In 2019, UPWARD launched its first UPWARD Men Chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area. UPWARD Men participate in programming, and encourage and support UPWARD Women. UPWARD Men engage by:

  • Speaking UP and being vocal advocates for women’s career advancement
  • Building UP women through mentorship, sponsorship, and partnership
  • Standing UP for the advancement of women in leadership roles and with gender inclusion programs

Male allies who want to support the advancement of their female colleagues are encouraged to become members of an UPWARD Men chapter. Membership is free.

With over 6,000 members globally and 16 chapters, UPWARD is the only global network supporting the career advancement of executive women. The organization provides an encouraging environment to build trusted relationships, share ideas, learn new skills, and grow your career while navigating today’s challenging business world. UPWARD’s mission is to accelerate career advancement for executive women by:

  • Creating collaborative meet UP gatherings to learn from leaders and to increase networking
  • Cultivating events that build UP members through focused conversations about their professional development
  • Nurturing relationships that help members move UP into the executive ranks during their careers

In our venture capital SIG, we’ve created programming to educate and connect entrepreneurs with VC investors and to train women seeking VC careers on how to thrive in that industry. Our founder is a very successful venture capitalist and a member of the NVCA board of directors, who has invested in entrepreneurs for over 20-years. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that she frequently shares with our members. UPWARD has also had several prominent VC firms featured in our events, including in 2019 having Jim Geotz, General Partner at Sequoia Capital, give a keynote address at our annual Gala Dinner in Los Gatos. We’ve also had Andreessen Horowitz host a VC panel featuring top tier women investors Ann Winblad (Hummer Winblad), Theresa Gouw (formerly Accel, and currently Aspect Ventures), and Aileen Lee (formerly KPCB, currently Cowboy Ventures). Sequoia Capital’s newest general partner, Jess Lee, also keynoted at an UPWARD event hosted at our founder’s residence, where she shared her journey from entrepreneurship to venture capital. We’ve also had firms such as Norwest Venture Partners and Ignition Partners, sponsor our events and numerous panels featuring women start-up founders and CEOs. The engagement across the VC and entrepreneur community with UPWARD is extensive and very compelling.

With men holding over 80% of the executive level positions in most companies, women will be assured success with them as our allies. Bringing men along will create the disruption needed to make significant progress for women in leadership. By bridging the professional gap between women and men in a supportive and intentional way, we will achieve success. This is even more imperative in the venture capital industry, because VC is the seed capital for funding the next generation of leaders and new businesses.

Contact Information

If you’d like to learn more about UPWARD, please see us at www.upwardwomen.org and www.upwardmen.org.

UPWARD Women

UPWARD Men

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10,000+

high-growth startups—across all 50 states and DC—raised venture funding in 2019 to build and grow their businesses.

42%

of all U.S. IPOs from 1974 to 2015 were venture-backed companies, representing 63% of the market capitalization and 85% of R&D.

2.9 million

is the average net jobs created annually between 1980 and 2010 by high-growth startups, which account for ~50% of gross jobs created in the U.S.

1,300+

U.S. venture firms are active today, managing an aggregate of $444 billion in assets.