Female Tech Leaders & Innovators Take the Stage with Us

Co-written by Kirsten Cluthe

Let’s face it, despite the large number of women and people of color making things happen in the tech world, tech conferences are often predominantly stocked with white male speakers. Our team at Lean Startup Co. is 75% women — from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds — and it’s our mission to ensure our conferences are held to the same diversity standard that we form our internal crew around. That’s why we’re partnering with Sandi MacPherson’s 50/50 Pledge for the second year in a row, and why we’re making a specific call for female speakers — with a special call out for women of color and gender non-conforming people — for our Lean Startup Week in San Francisco Oct. 31-Nov. 6. Your voices aren’t heard often enough at tech conferences. We’d love to hear from you, as would our 2,000 attendees from around the world.

Not that we’re lacking in amazing boss ladies. We’ve recently confirmed a dream team of tech women to present keynotes and run workshops, including:

Caterina Rizzi                          Cheryl Swirnow                       Laura Klein
Co-Founder, Breather           Co-Founder, Sherpaa             Author, UX for Lean Startups

Kara Goldin                             Irene Au                                     Christina Stembel
Founder, Hint Water             Design Partner,                        Founder,
.                                                 Khosla Ventures                      Farmgirl Flowers

María de Olano Mata              Susana Jurado                      Viv Goldstein
Innovation Manager,              Head of Innovation               Global Director,
Telefónica                                 Portfolio, Telefónica R&D   Innovation Accelerator, GE

Wendy Gonzalez                     Sonja Kresojevic                    Tatyana Mamut
Managing Director,                SVP, Global Product               Head of Design & UX,
Samasource                            Lifecycle, Pearson                  IoT Cloud, Salesforce

We’re looking for other female founders and innovators who have a great story to share, especially if you can speak to one of Lean Startup Week’s big themes:

  • Designing an organization
  • Lean Startup leadership
  • The future of work
  • Lean Startup in the enterprise world

If you’re interested in presenting at our flagship conference, let us know! Don’t worry about having some kind of conference track record or working in a specific industry. Our speakers hail from scrappy startups, global enterprise companies, government agencies, faith-based organizations, and the education and social sectors.

We encourage you to propose a talk via our Call For Proposals form, regardless of whether you have public speaking experience. Submit your idea as a short video, ideally under three minutes. iPhone videos are totally acceptable, just make sure the sound quality is high enough that we can hear you. The deadline is May 20, and all the details you need on creating a proposal can be found here. Help us continue our commitment to spreading a diversity of ideas from a diversity of leaders.

And if you’d rather sit back and learn from these stellar women (and men) alike, grab your ticket to Lean Startup Week today, and save up to 30% before May 31.


Lean Startup Week is a seven-day immersion into Lean Startup methodology led by star practitioners in big companies and hot startups from around the world. On Oct. 31-Nov. 6, we’re gathering thousands of thought leaders and avid community members at Pier 27 for a week of keynote talks, interactive workshops, office hours, industry dinners, bootcamps, and startup tours at the scenic edge of San Francisco. Our unparalleled conference is unique in that it unites entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs from multinational corporations, bootstrapped startups, government agencies, and civic organizations in their mission to create radical change in their industries.