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Dr. Martin Luther King Day Convocation 2018
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October 10, 2017
Women create only 3% of tech startups, receive less than 10% of venture capital funding, and run only 4% of Fortune 500 companies.
These statistics introduce the trailer for She Started It, a documentary that follows women entrepreneurs of tech companies. Insiyah Saeed '03 co-produced the documentary with her partner on the project, Nora Poggi.
Saeed will return to Knox College to screen and discuss the documentary on October 17 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the Trustees Room, Room 302, in Alumni Hall.
Saeed, who went on from Knox to graduate from the Columbia Journalism School, has been published in the Huffington Post, The New York Sun, Wall Street Journal, Women 2.0, and other tech blogs.
In addition to interviewing experts, activists, and young girls around the world, Saeed's film tracks five women in three countries through their successes and their failures.
Saeed said she and Poggi based the message of the film on prior investigations into what held women back from tech fields.
"The biggest issue we found during our research is that many people, and women in particular, were afraid of failure. We explore the theme of learning to fail well in the documentary, as a prerequisite to becoming a resilient entrepreneur," she said.
"Another issue we found faced by women was the lack of exposure to what it means to work in the tech field. The impression most women had was that it would be 'too hard' or that being in tech involved sitting at a computer all day," Saeed said. "We hope our film also contributes by providing a close-up perspective on what it means to be a tech entrepreneur."
Saeed and Poggi's goal is to reach one million women and girls worldwide. The film has screened at festivals, schools, colleges, universities and conferences. Corporations across multiple worldwide offices, including Microsoft, Google, Adobe, Salesforce, Survey Monkey, Bank of America, Lyft, and AIG, plan multiple screenings as part of their diversity and inclusivity efforts.
The film has been selected by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the USC School of Cinematic Arts for the 2017-2018 American Film Showcase, America's premiere film diplomacy program. Saeed will represent the film at Embassies around the world starting this fall.
The screening and discussion on October 17 kick off Fall Institute on October 18, a day when classes are suspended and students participate in events to shape and define educational plans toward a purposeful and goal-driven academic career. Fall institute is organized by the Bastian Family Career Center.
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