Fairygodboss: Celebrating the success of APAHM founders with Google Cloud
CEO & Co-Founder, Fairygodboss
May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month — a time for us to come together to celebrate and remember the important people and history of Asian and Pacific Island heritage. This feature highlights founder Georgene Huang and how her startup Fairygodboss uses easy to use Google Cloud tools to grow and innovate.
Coming from a male-dominated industry like Wall Street, I never thought much about my gender. I was so focused on work that I didn’t feel like I could focus on my identity as a woman of color. That all changed when I found myself thrust into the job market while two months pregnant.
Traditionally, job-seeking sites are built by - and geared towards - men and their professional needs. There was no recruiting site that broke down what candidates who identify as women might expect from a company, let alone women of color like myself. I founded Fairygodboss to create a space where women can crowdsource information about opportunities and employers in order to make informed career decisions.
Fair•y•god•boss (noun): A person who elevates women at work.
Fairygodboss is the largest career community for women. In researching potential employers, I had many questions surrounding company culture, maternity leave, and women in leadership positions. While sites like Glassdoor provide high-level details for job seekers, I wanted more concrete examples and data than general salary information and anecdotes about work-life balance.
Fairygodboss began as a job review site geared towards women, but has expanded significantly since our initial launch. In addition to providing free resources like career connections, job listings, virtual recruiting events, community advice, and real research on how companies treat women, we also proactively help companies improve gender diversity. Fairygodboss partners with hundreds of top employers to create a 360-degree recruiting and employer branding program designed to drive female applicants to job postings by showcasing a company’s track record of women in leadership within a company, and their diversity investments.
Google Cloud + Fairygodboss: Data defined
At our core, Fairygodboss is a data-driven company, and we rely on Google Cloud to help us process, store, and analyze user-driven events occurring on the site. As a highly scalable, serverless, and cost-effective data warehousing solution, BigQuery collect millions of events each day, helping us identify where traffic is coming from (and where it goes next), and it produces actionable insights to provide better recommendations, information, and opportunities for women visiting our platform.
After seamlessly connecting our BigQuery data to Data Studio, we have been able to visualize and make sense of all the data we receive on our platform. Unlike some other data visualization tools, Data Studio allows us to analyze data in real time. With tools like BigQuery, we are now able to identify trends and gain a deep understanding for how our users interact with our site.
Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders
In order to provide more accurate job recommendations for our users, the Fairygodboss team wanted to build a machine learning prototype to classify our users and jobs into categories to facilitate more effective matching. So we applied for the Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders, a three-month digital accelerator program for high-potential Seed to Series A tech startups based in the U.S. and Canada. Along with tailored mentorship and product support from Googlers and industry experts, the Google for Startups Accelerator provided $100K in Google Cloud credits to scale our businesses. The mentorship we received from the Google Cloud technical experts as part of the Accelerator - special shout out to Peter Novig! - empowered us to integrate Cloud AutoML into our systems and ultimately curate more accurate job suggestions for our users.
Not only did the Google for Startups Accelerator program help to achieve our business goals for the year, it was also extremely beneficial to be connected with a cohort of other women founders of color. While we are all building different kinds of businesses across different industries, the guidance around fundraising, scaling teams, and coping with the struggles of being a founder rang true for all of us.
Advancing the community
It can be daunting to launch your own business - and even more so as an AAPI woman. Throughout my career, I am certain I have experienced unconscious bias around my race. Specifically, there have likely been “model minority” stereotypes about my demeanor and math abilities, assumptions that I may be mild-mannered or agreeable. While frustrating, these unfair tropes actually inspired me to see myself beyond others’ perceptions. Why be either analytical or creative, meek or brash, inspiring or agreeable? It’s the ors of life that prevent us from seeing ourselves as truly multi-dimensional individuals. I aspired to be more instead of or, and want my company to be as well.
As an inclusion-focused business, it is extremely important that Fairygodboss mindfully engage with all underrepresented groups. Diversity can be sliced in many different ways, and these intersections lead to great opportunities for change. We have a team of volunteer ‘culture wizards’ at work that provide educational resources and videos for those wanting to learn more about different cultures and identities from members of under-represented groups. We also practice what we preach at Fairygodboss by prioritizing diverse slates and diversity in our own hiring process. We aim for the talent we hire to be representative of the diverse communities we support. It is imperative to take an intentional approach to hiring diverse talent, as it falls on all employers to promote equity and inclusion—there are always ways in which we can all improve. Fairygodboss looks forward to evolving with Google Cloud in 2021 and beyond as we work together to foster inclusive teams around the world.
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