Suzanne Xie Has an Interactive Tale to Tell.
Much has been said and written about the lack of women in the tech sector, be it as investors (or associates), founders or in management positions at major companies. Is the problem the old boys network – or that success in technology is seen as a young man’s game? In this series, we speak with some of the top industry women in New York as they discuss the challenges they face, the perceptions that need to be changed and the work that’s being done – or not – to help to promote women in tech.
Here, we focus the spotlight on Suzanne Xie, a mentor at both The Founder Institute and Blueprint Health and co-founder of Hullabalu, for ages 4 and above, building the first epic interactive story app for kids, with a female heroine as a leader and role model.
What was/is the biggest challenge facing you as an female entrepreneur?
I think a hard part of building our business is making sure we stay in the minds of both kids and parents. We’re building experiences that cater to both audiences, so it’s a very delicate dynamic.
What can be done to further promote female entrepreneurship in New York?
I’m a huge believer in mentorship. It’s very important for female entrepreneurs to seek out female and male leaders who are inspirations and can directly help them scale personally and professionally.
What is being done that you like presently? Are you involved in any organizations that help to promote female entrepreneurship?
I was recently lucky enough to be invited to speak at an event hosted by Women Innovate Mobile and the State Department’s TechGirls. It was inspiring to see so many young women interested in careers in technology as well as the people there to support and encourage them.
Do you feel investors have a different mindset when it comes to investing in a woman-run company?
I personally haven’t seen work/life balance come up yet. Perhaps that’s because I’m always at work. But, I think we’re at a stage now where there are so many female entrepreneurs and executives who successfully balance family and work that it shouldn’t be an issue. With each year that passes, more and more data points emerge that prove the investment value of female entrepreneurs.
Do you think that women in top roles at major tech companies are scrutinized more closely than their male counterparts?
Yes, and fairly so. The generation before us was scrutinized and worked hard to break open barriers. I think the burden is high on rising female executives to continue down the path of professional success and create an even more level playing field for the generation below us. Anytime you’re blazing a trail and changing the status quo, people will watch and comment.
Where do you and your company fit into the ecosystem?
We’d like to think we fit somewhere up near Disney and Pixar. At least that what we’re aiming for! I admire and respect the creative and business talents that grew those companies into legendary, worldwide brands.