“It’s about creating a movement.”
When Golnaz Golnaraghi heard (SheEO founder) Vicki Saunders speak at the Emerging Women’s Conference and share the dismal statistics that underscored the lack of financing for and appreciation of women-owned businesses, she was “completely blown away”. Golnaz decided to become a SheEO Activator.
It was 2015, SheEO’s launch year, and just a few months before Golnaz, an educator, researcher, and business woman, would leave her teaching position to focus on her business, diVITY. Through diVITY, she enables leaders, teams and organizations to use collaboration, empathy, creativity and reflection to challenge current assumptions and practices in order to generate new alternatives and innovative solutions.
Like many female founders, she was no stranger to the barriers – gender, cultural, racial, age – that women face. But at SheEO, she found a place where she could be entirely herself. “I feel like I can authentically be me and accepted as such. I don’t have to leave out any parts of me.” As she began to understand how SheEO was addressing these barriers with a model that was unique and innovative, she knew she wanted to get involved.
“We can complain about all the barriers but this movement is actually doing something about it. This is such an incredible grassroots movement that is creating something new. It’s powerful. We’re doing something around the barriers that exist. I want to be part of this.”
As an Activator who is also an entrepreneur, Golnaz appreciates the many tangible benefits that come with being part of the SheEO network. “The network has been incredible in terms of support. As a business owner, it can be isolating. Having a network is wonderful. I made an Ask in the community and 12 women came forward with offers of help. The Radical Generosity model spills outside of just funding Ventures.”
Still, for Golnaz, it keeps coming back to the power and potential of SheEO’s vision.
“There’s so much power and energy in women coming together in the spirit of creating gender equity for all women, of creating a different kind of space for all women. We are building a more equitable and inclusive society. We are building the future. And we are building this together. It’s super exciting.”