Adriana Gascoigne: Girls in Tech Founder


My Native Admission Statement: I’m Adriana Gascoigne, the CEO and founder of Girls in Tech. We have 47 chapters with more than 62,000 members in 33 countries. I just wrote a new book, Tech Boss Lady: How to Start-Up, Disrupt, and Thrive as a Female Founder, about how I founded the largest organization for female entrepreneurs in the world. It includes true tales from more than 20 leading women in tech about how they got started in our industry and I’m very excited about it.

Bio: Adriana is the Founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization devoted to empowering, educating and engaging women in the tech industry across 47 chapters in 33 countries. No stranger to growing brands and building amazing companies, Adriana has worked with tech companies like Indiegogo, Oracle’s Involver, and She has also served in executive roles at Ogilvy & Mather, Interpublic Group of Companies, Social Gaming Network (SGN), and SecondMarket.

Adriana holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Organizational Studies from the University of California at Davis, and received a certification from El Tecnologico de Monterrey in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She is a Singular University Impact Fellow Scholarship Recipient, was named one of the 20 most influential Latinos in technology in 2018 by CNET and 2018 Pioneer Leadership Award winner at the Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit. Adriana is an author and will be publishing her first book, Tech Boss Lady, in June 2019.

My NativeAdVice:

How did you get into the industry?

I zig-zagged into the tech and startup world. After graduating from UC Davis, I hung around LA for a year, working in marketing and advertising at JWT Hill & Knowlton. I landed in San Francisco for a quick year to work for Chase Communications before returning to Los Angeles for an opportunity in consumer brand marketing strategy. Later, I moved to Miami to work for a real estate development company for nearly three years. A later job was for an online video start-up in 2006 and I’ve stayed in tech ever since.

Any emerging industry trends?

I think AI offers a great opportunity for newcomers to find career paths in tech. There’s a lot happening across industries with AI being leveraged; the changes may be difficult but it presents many different pathways. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2018 report and many others, AI will be a major driver in job growth in the tech world in coming years.

Inspiration for Girls in Tech, and your vision for Girls in Tech?

When I started Girls in Tech back in 2007, I was hyper-focused on the fact that there didn’t seem to be any “cool” organizations for women in tech. To attract members and grow, I wanted women to know that we were relaxed, that you could come to our events and meet other “girlfriends,” and that it was going to be anything but stuffy.

Girls in Tech now offers a no-apologies forum. Our speakers get up onstage and feel comfortable dropping an occasional F-bomb. Our events connect women—but not in a transactional manner; they’re connected because they find real joy in meeting other badass women in tech.

What's next for Girls in Tech in the near future?

Most recently, Girls in Tech expanded our annual Catalyst conference. Catalyst, which takes place in London, Melbourne and San Francisco, now includes a speed recruiting segment and a pitch competition. We’re excited to expand Catalyst in 2019 and beyond.

We’re also expanding CODE G, our free, in-person, intermediate-level bootcamp that teaches programming to girls and women over five days, and our recruitment platform

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

I think the ideal experience for a Girls in Tech participant is that they are inspired and engaged by our programs. We want them to learn new skills, find opportunities and friendships, learn from mentorships, and become empowered for a career in tech.

What do I do best?

Multi-tasking and juggling many different balls at the same time.

What are my aspirations?

Personally, to focus on family. Professionally, I’d love to start a for-profit business one day for a female demographic. I think that would be very interesting.

My Biggest Success?

Building Girls in Tech, and writing my new book Tech Boss Lady.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

I try not to get too attached to material possessions, but I love music. I love my mini-speakers for the road. They’re really small and you can travel with them everywhere. Also, my noise canceling headphones because they help with sleep, music, and entertainment on the plane.

A Day in My Life:

What are you doing at:

It really depends on whether I’m on the road or not, but:

7:00 AM – I get up and do my morning rituals of coffee, meditation and exercise before work. Then…

9:00 AM – Working!

8:00 PM – Meet with friends, work out, and I also try to fit in cultural activities like going to shows or plays. Or maybe I’ll just go home and sleep for the night!

This is my routine if I’m in the Bay Area. But if I’m travelling, it frequently changes. I travel frequently and there’s never a dull moment.

What should everyone try at least once?

Going to a developing country. It’s important for people to learn about other cultures, see how other people live and understand that other people may not live the same way they live. It’s also important for people to learn to have gratitude and appreciate what they have in life.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Nature. Yosemite, Lake Tahoe or just hiking anywhere and enjoying my surroundings.

My Pic of The Day:


What Else to Know? My new book, Tech Boss Lady: How to Start-Up, Disrupt, and Thrive as a Female Founder, can be purchased here. It features a firsthand look at startup life and advice from top women entrepreneurs like Julia Hartz of Eventbrite, Meg Withgott of Panafold, and Heidi Roizen of DFJ.