Episode 83- Alisha Ramos
Founder of Girls Night In.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m the founder of a company called Girls’ Night In. We make things that help women celebrate self-care and build better connections with one another. For example have a weekly newsletter that reaches over 20,000 women across the globe that provides smart reads and recommendations on what to watch, listen to, or do during your night in. We also host monthly book club meetups in cities across the U.S., which has been such a lovely way for women to connect with one another and disconnect from technology for a bit. Before this, I worked at a public benefit corporation called Nava working on Healthcare.gov, and prior to that, I served as a Design Director at Vox Media.
How and why did you get involved in tech?
I taught myself how to code when I was 10 or 11. I grew up on the Internet, poking around and learning basic HTML to create websites about things I was passionate about, like Sailor Moon or Neopets. It was all so magical to me. After graduating college and a brief stint in consulting, I wanted to get back to my early childhood love of making things for the Internet. I refreshed my coding knowledge, gained some design skills, and landed a job at Vox Media where I’m grateful to have grown tremendously as an engineer, designer, and manager.
What was your perception of the industry before entering and how’s that changed?
My perception of the industry when I first started was very much focused on seeing these “all-star” product designers at companies like Facebook or Pinterest and being motivated by them. I was in awe of that level of talent and ability to impact millions of people. My perception was that I’d have to work incredibly hard to reach those levels. My other perception of the tech industry was that it’s a white male-dominated industry. Sadly, I don’t think this perception has changed. While I do see some change happening at the entry-level, there is still a massive lack of managers and C-suite executives who are people of color. I think real change will only happen when we start to see those particular roles being filled by people of color.
Tips for budding founders?
Be clear about your mission and your vision. You have to be 110% all in on that. Don’t start a business just because you think it’s a “good business idea.” You are going to work tirelessly on the business, so you might as well choose something you’re truly passionate about!
Where can we find you, and is there anything you wish to promote?
You can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/alishalisha. And I’d love to have everyone subscribe to the Girls’ Night In weekly newsletter! It’s what we’re best known for, and people have likened it to “a warm hug at the end of a long week.”