Mavatar CEO Susan Akbarpour recently spoke at the Women Architects of the Future of Work event on October 29 in San Francisco. Women Architects of the Future of Work was hosted by the organization How Women Lead to discuss how female leaders can adapt to and capitalize on the changing nature of the workplace. Susan is also a member of the Silicon Valley Executive Board of Advisors to How Women Lead, where she helps provide strategic direction to the organization.
The panel discussion was led by Marianne Jackson and JeanAnn Nichols and featured Susan Akbarpour, Jennifer Kenny, Jasmine Shih and Vicki Wilkerson. The event also featured a lightning round covering diverse topics such as the gig economy, remote work, and AI in the workplace.
Susan focused her discussion on how women are well poised to be leaders in the increasingly remote workplace of the future.
Why Women Make Great Remote Leaders
A lot of digital ink has been spilled on the rise of the freelance and gig economy. As of 2019, freelancers make up 35% of the US workforce, and that number’s only growing.
The internet revolution and the more recent rise of cloud based collaboration software like Google Drive, Slack, Zoom and more have made it increasingly easy for workers to collaborate at as distance.
This has actually been great news for women, Susan argued. At fully remote companies, 28% have female founders, CEOs or presidents. And 19% of majority remote companies have women CEOs — quadruple the Fortune 500 which only has 5% women CEOs.
So why is this the case?
Susan posited that this is because in remote work, it’s less important to look like the traditional definition of a leader, in other words male. What matters in remote work is delivering results, which women are just as capable of doing as men if not better as studies indicate women are more capable of managing multiple tasks flowing simultaneously, while men get irritated when they have to do several things at the same time. Scientists have found this is has to do with gray and white matter within the brain. Women have more white matter while men rule in the gray matter category.
Remote work also, Susan added, better allows women to balance their work with other life goals like parenting, pregnancy and caring for the elderly. They can take care of these obligations as needed and get the work done when they’re able. There’s no need to be bound to a 9 to 5 when you can do the same work more happily from the comfort of your own home on a more convenient time table.
Want to learn more about How Women Lead?
You can check out the HWL website and find out about their many events throughout the Bay Area, online, and around the country with over 13,000 members. If you’re ready to learn more about the future of female leadership and meet some of the incredible women at the forefront of this movement, you can sign up for upcoming How Women Lead events here.