first realized that I was becoming wealthy when I was
an executive in the computer networking industry in Silicon Valley. A colleague who was enthusiastic
about the pleasures of philanthropic work introduced me
to the preparation and education necessary for intelligent
use of earned wealth. This included becoming knowledgeable
as an investor and philanthropist, and over several years
I applied myself to developing sophistication about both.
As one of very few women to
be an officer of a large, publicly held corporation, I
developed a passion for creating greater opportunities
for women and girls. Both philanthropy and investment
became ways to act on this commitment. I attended a conference
for women who expected to give more than one million dollars
in their lifetime, and joined the Investor's Circle, an
association of accredited investors working with entrepreneurs
on socially responsible venture capital opportunities.
In my philanthropy I try to
strategically influence structural and institutional change.
For instance, I collaborated on a gift to Stanford business
school. The gift was restricted to give economic resources
that would, over time, produce new women faculty, including
tenured professorships. It included curriculum development
about women entrepreneurships, an endowed scholarship
for a women PhD's, and junior faculty grants for extra
research, travel, and writing on the route to tenure.
I also funded development of a website for the Women's
Sports Foundation to leverage their influence.
In combination with my philanthropy,
venture investing enables me to provide women direct access
to capital to realize their visions. I just invested in
a woman-led venture capital fund-one of very few in the
country-that is helping to build companies that are bringing
together technology and health care.
As part of a venture capital
fund the principals will invest in early stage enterprises,
i.e. when the need for capital is critical and the risks
are great. Venture investing requires a long term perspective
and a high tolerance for risk. There can be nine losers
for every one winner in a venture capital portfolio.
To me, philanthropy and investing
are complementary methods of promoting social change-in
my case, for leveraging resources for women and girls.
- anonymous author
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