Each week in the New Tech Newsletter we feature a Spotlight Q&A with founders, angels, New Tech alumni presenters, and other people or companies in our community we believe you’d like to learn about. This week we spoke with D Sangeeta, the Founder of Gotara!
Gotara’s Mantra is “To drive diversity in every thought and equity in every action.” Gotara’s Mission is “To close the gender gap in STEM+ fields.”
Why do you do what you do for a living?
I serve my community and industry by elevating the level of STEM+ women with a mission of “Diversity in every thought and Equity in every action”! I grew up as a STEM woman in a very male dominated industries and made it to the highest executive levels. I believe more women can achieve the same level of success or more! And I am here to scale this process for millions of women across the globe with the help of employers, women advisors, and allies.
Why did you start your company?
I launched Gotara because I wanted to climb the second mountain of my career where I could make an impact on the community and the industry by addressing the gender gap, I felt throughout my career – while creating a sustainable business that lives on even after I am gone.
At Gotara, we’re on a mission to “stem” the tide of talented STEM+ women who drift away from careers they once loved.
We understand the undercurrents that pull up to 40% of women out of the industry within 5 to 7 years of graduating, costing US employers $9B.
We understand because we’ve been in the same sometimes troubled and unwelcoming waters, but we’ve managed to ride the wave. In fact, I landed the equivalent of a barrel ride—basically the mother of all maneuvers in surfing—when I nailed down a record 24 patents in her 4 years.
Now it’s our mission to help STEM+ women stay and thrive in their careers and to help employers who share this mission.
Our target audience is women who work in science technology, engineering, mathematics, economics, finance, market research, data science, and all data-based fields where women are still underrepresented. As a C-suite STEM+ leader, I managed global teams of 5,000+, so I know firsthand how detrimental it is to our businesses when these women leave.
First, there’s the $300,000 financial wallop every time a resignation letter lands on a manager’s desk. In the US alone, it costs up to $9 billion annually in attrition-related costs, which includes lost productivity. Then there is the dampening of intellectual curiosity and stifled creativity when teams lose the diverse minds that spark innovation. I want to stop this loss for individuals, employers and the society and turn the tide!
What is one of the greatest lessons you’ve learned from being a founder/CEO?
I have loved every minute of the journey as a founder, from creating the big vision to a kick ass team, to an enterprise platform to a business that already has traction with individuals and employers across the globe! Despite all the success, as a founder, I have learnt that the startup world works very differently than corporate America!
I have learned that the key requirements for startup success are different whether it is running a profitable business or raising funds to accelerate the growth. I had to be bolder about sharing my dreams out loud so I can instill the confidence in our startup for investors focusing on the three Ts – TAM (Total addressable Market), Team, and Traction with the customers. And learning that cash flow is the most critical thing in early years – on time receivables are as critical as signing the contracts.
What is the one piece of advice you would share today with your younger self before you started your company?
Network with the investor world sooner, understand their culture and approach to investing before you are ready to raise funds. Following a traditional path of starting with accelerators provides better engagement, network, and interest from investors. Even if you want to invest your own money, accelerators are great exposure! Unless you want to run your business without any investments.
What is something interesting and unexpected that people would be surprised to learn about you?
I authored two books early in my career, right after my daughter was born. Looking back, it was the most productive period in my career. Contrary to the popular belief that having children slows your career down, my daughter’s birth actually accelerated my career!
Why is so unique about Gotara that these global women in STEM+ are reaching out to you?
They come to Gotara because they can ask the most sensitive question in a confidential space without being judged or found out. They also get the response when they need it which is in less than 24 hours.