Founder of Female Founders Faster Forward
“Making the Tech World Accessible”
June Manley, Founder of Female Founders Faster Forward, follows the principle of conscious alignment. She focuses on making sure that what she thinks, says, and does line up. Not only does it help keep her centered and engaged on what matters, but it sets the tone for her organization. The rest of the team knows exactly what is expected of them. It also sets a tone of accountability to themselves, one another, and the organization as a whole.
June’s role model is Mother Teresa. She’s an Anglo-Indian who grew up in Calcutta, India, and witnessed the incredible impact of Mother Teresa - firsthand. “Mother Teresa truly was the leading example of conscious alignment. Every day of her life, she focused only on the mission of liberating people from the continuing bondage of poverty, suffering, gender, and other discrimination. She simply made the world a better place every day,” says the steadfast leader. June relentlessly works for underserved minorities to get opportunities to move into leadership roles. In addition to working 1 on 1 with female entrepreneurs and women in technology, June also serves as an advisor to the National Small Business Administration (NSBA) to better serve underserved minority tech entrepreneurs.
As June travels around the world, she is struck by how the current system ignores many talented people. While high-tech companies and Venture Capital (VC) firms blame the lack of “pipeline” of underserved minorities, it is clear that they are not looking beyond their professional and social networks. Outside of Silicon Valley, there is a groundswell of diverse entrepreneurs, but since the high-tech industry lacks equitable opportunities for them, they move into industries like biotechnology, medical science, etc. June catalyzes sustainable change by uniting business and policy leaders toward a single goal: to drive collective, transformative change to ensure equal and equitable opportunity for all—regardless of gender, race, sex, religion, cultural background, or socio-economic or another status.
In 2015, June bootstrapped and launched a Big Data Analytics startup and discovered that only 2% of U.S. venture capital (VC) funding goes to startups led by female founders. After multiple VCs encouraged her to “make your husband CEO” so that they would feel more comfortable funding her, she resolved to change the current VC investing status quo and the toxic environment. Realizing that her experience was the norm, she founded the non-profit Female Founders Faster Forward (F4) to increase investments in female and minority founded startups
F4 is revolutionizing the process in which startups secure capital by removing bias and prejudice in prevailing funding models. F4’s research has helped to detail the challenges faced by underserved minorities. In addition, it helps venture capital (VC) firms understand what creates their bias and proposes solutions on how to drive a more equitable outcome.
F4 helps all underserved minorities because the biases in the tech industry extend beyond gender to ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and identification, and socioeconomics. The Equality for All initiative (www.equality4all.org) aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #10.3 for equal opportunity without discrimination. They are helping underserved minorities get a foothold in the tech industry community. After all, today’s new college hire is tomorrow’s groundbreaking Founder & CEO.
While post-COVID-19 recovery reshapes companies and industries, business leaders need to think beyond survival and recognize growth opportunities. Never has diversity been more important to growth – the new environment requires new ways of thinking and better connections to customers. Visionary tech leaders can select from a larger, more diverse talent pool and lay the groundwork for recovery and growth. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for business leaders in the tech industry to lead for equality, act for diversity. The time is now to hire diverse talent for lasting greatness,” states June. “As we emerge from COVID-19, it will be the long-term visionary leaders who invest and advance equality and diversity today, their organizations who not only survive but thrive.” IE
Founder of Female Founders Faster Forward
F4Capital is revolutionizing how startups secure capital by removing bias and prejudice in prevailing funding models. Our Startup Investment Model Index (MySiMi.org) is like a FICO Score for startups. F4 is a registered 501c3 non-profit (EIN: 82-2129592). The #EQUALITYFORALL Summit (taking place April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC) is a one-day event focusing business and policy leaders on a single goal: equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.