Peek behind the scenes of the Women Fellowship

Niel Reitmann
April 5, 2023
BTS of the Startmate Women Fellowship

We get a lot of questions about what actually happens in the Women Fellowship.

🧠 What will you learn?

🛠️ How does it work?

🌱 What impact will it have?

Getting a better grasp on these things help you evaluate whether this program is the right fit for you.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a bit of a behind-the-scenes preview to give you some very tangible ideas of what happens in the Women Fellowship.

The Startmate Women Fellowship exists to supercharge ambitious women into startups.

This could mean working in a startup, investing in startups or even founding your own. 

Something that people outside of the ecosystem might not be aware of is that there’s a huge need for more women in tech (currently 3 in 4 people working in tech are men) 🤦

However, there are also a number of barriers that are preventing talent flow into tech, from lack of information about transferrable skills to not having the connections to help make that first intro to stereotypes of what someone who works in startups looks like.

The Women Fellowship is dismantling those barriers and flooding the ecosystem with 100 extremely talented, clever and ambitious women every 6 months.

If you’re curious about exploring a career that is fast-paced, challenging, collaborative and having an impact, look no further. 

In this six week community-driven program, you will gain the tools, connections and confidence to hit the ground running in the startup ecosystem. You’ll join a community of talented and inspiring women, and will gain backstage access to some of the most exciting startups in Australia and New Zealand. 

A big part of the program, outside the coaching and community, is the content and the incredible speakers who share their stories and lessons with the cohort.

We’re going to take you through some of the top ranked sessions from the last cohort.

So - let’s look behind the scenes and get an idea of what kind of sessions you’ll take part of in the fellowship. 

Tash Jamieson “A career pivot to save your life” 

The fellows heard from Tash Jamieson, founder of Lockpick games on "A career pivot to save your life" where we focused on leveraging your values when shifting your career focus.

A career pivot can feel daunting which is why we unpack what's really important to you, and how a career in startups might align with your individual values and objectives. 

Key takeaway: "Your career doesn't remain consistent, but your values do. Your values become the storyline."

Rebecca Bannan “Find your right kind of hard” 

Rebecca pivoted her career from management consulting and investment management into climate-tech (and hustled her way into becoming a co-founder at Emmi!)

🔑 Key takeaway: To unleash your full potential, combine what drives you (values), what you excel at (superpowers) and what you have proven success in (experience) to find a meaningful and aligned role that brings your real authentic self to the table.

AMA with Lucy Wark, Founder & CEO at Normal

Lucy went from management consulting to founder and CEO of an epic sexual wellness brand - Normal. She’s also a women fellow alum, so she shared her top tips for thriving in the Women Fellowship.

🔑 Key takeaway(s): "Be very honest with yourself about what you need and want at this stage of your career" & "Every touchpoint is an opportunity to create an advocate" 

Breaking down imposter syndrome and saying #IAmRemarkable with Tova Anguswat 

Tova Angsuwat, former People Ops Leader @ Google, broke down imposter syndrome for our women fellows with #IAmRemarkable.

#IamRemarkable strives to empower women and underrepresented groups to speak openly about their accomplishments in the workplace and beyond. The initiative motivates participants to promote themselves in front of peers and management, thereby breaking gender related modesty norms and glass ceilings and busting preconceived notions that lead to imposter syndrome.

🔑 Key takeaway: "It's not bragging if it's a fact"

What is it really like to work in startups panel

In this session, we spoke with a panel of absolute legends in the startup/VC ecosystem about the high highs, challenges, and misconceptions about working in startups.

This included Renee Phelan, Fiona Aaron, Oli Wolff, Vinisha Rathod, Michelle He, Andi Mastrosavas, and Sarah Bramham who are all professionals from various companies, including Visibuild, X15 Ventures, Kinde, Think & Grow, FrankieOne, AgriDigital, and Swoop Aero.

Mike Rubio “Land your dream job”

How do you make sure you actually land an interview? How do you stand out in a sea of hundreds of startup applicants? When looking for a dream role, don’t just submit your generic CV and then play the inbox waiting game. Mike Rubio (Talent @Canva) shares all his secrets.

🔑 Key takeaway: How do you make sure you actually land an interview? How do you stand out in a sea of hundreds of startup applicants? When looking for a dream role, don’t just submit your generic CV and then play the inbox waiting game. Networks. Are. Everything. Use these! Fortunately for us, Startmate has a pretty powerful network to leverage. Hehe.

Startup Roles Q&A Night

So you're interested in X role...but what is it really like?!? In this highly interactive session, Fellows had the opportunity to speak with different role experts to learn more about different roles in the startup ecosystem.

Here we heard from Naomi Browne, Tia Sorensen, Ajeet Yadav, Max Antonov, Philippa Townley, Chloe Bartle, Erin Howell, and Kina Desyanandini

🔑 Key takeaway: Working in a startup isn't just for IT specialists and coders! There are so many varied roles and functions available - from People & Culture to Operations to Finance to Marketing to Product (to name a few...) - there's something for everyone!

Female Founders panel

In this session, we hosted a panel of incredible female Founders who have built some pretty epic startups. We’re of course referring to Lydia O'Donnell, Esther Keown, Cassie Bell and Steph Skevington.

We chatted about their unique journeys, discussed some highlights and challenges of being a founder, and dug into some burning Q&A.

🔑 Key takeaway: "The world needs more epic female founders. If you're at all interested in this pathway, don't write yourself off."

Investing in startups AMA

Kylie Frazer, Co-Founder and Partner at Flying Fox Ventures; Komal Patel, Investments at Tenacious Ventures; Chenelle Tanglao, Startmate Women Fellow & First Believer, Strategic Ventures at Verisk Financial.

In this session, we chat with a panel of incredible investors about the role of an investor, some possible pathways into investing, some misconceptions, and opportunities in this space.

Key takeaway: "One of the biggest misconceptions around investing is that you need to come from generational wealth and have boatloads of money to invest in startups. This is NOT true. There are other pathways even if you don't have a ton of capital."

✨ Interested in learning from some of these brilliant women? Head over here

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The Startmate Women Fellowship is a program and community for ambitious women looking to supercharge their career in startups.

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