Posted on February 17 2016
The fantastic Lauren Mosenthal is this week's Wednesday Woman. Based in San Francisco, Lauren is Co-Founder, Head of Product and CTO of Glassbreakers, an online peer mentorship platform for professional women. Previously, Lauren worked in digital advertising at AKQA in San Francisco and Made Movement in Boulder. Here's her story:
Newnham: What were you like growing up?
Mosenthal: Growing up I was a very energetic kid. I had a spirit of independence since kindergarden when I told my mom on picture day, “It’s my body so I want to wear what I want.” In my teens I had a very rebellious side and got into a lot of trouble; I think it was from a lack of being challenged, since I excelled at school and sports pretty effortlessly.
By my junior and senior year of high school, my parents put me in college level classes that were a lot more difficult and I started to really hone in on learning and really got my life together. From all of these experiences I have learned that, in order to be content, I need to always be learning - that’s why I love running a startup, designing and coding - there’s always more to learn and every day has giant challenges that are invigorating to dive into.
Newnham: What do you do now? What are your different roles at Glassbreakers?Mosenthal: I am currently the co-founder, CTO and Head of Product at Glassbreakers. I went from coding full time to launch the first version of the product to now leading our amazing product team. Day-to-day I spend the majority of my time on user experience research and design, as well as building out our product roadmaps for our team and customers. Every six weeks, it feels like my role completely changes as we continue to scale.
Newnham: As a Glassbreakers founder, what’s your mission, and goals for 2016?
Mosenthal: My main goal is to do whatever it takes to keep Glassbreakers as the leader in diversity and inclusion enterprise software. That includes a multitude of smaller goals like:
- Creating a product people value and love
- Continue to build clear product roadmaps
- Learn how to further support my team to add to their growth
- Understand our customers’ needs.
Additionally it’s important to create and sustain personal goals. This year I’m focusing on learning vim, furthering my security engineering chops and iOS skills. I typically run half marathons, and intend to kick it up a notch this year to run my first full marathon and hike at least two 14ers (mountain peaks that exceed 14,000 feet in elevation) in Colorado.
Newnham: Glassbreakers started by supporting women in tech but how has it grown and how do you convince businesses with little diversity the importance of it?
Mosenthal: Glassbreakers’ SaaS offering extends way beyond technology and into industries such as Consulting, Finance, Media and much more. The companies Glassbreakers is working with have been in existence for over fifty years, and plan to be in existence for years to come. As a result, they understand why prioritizing inclusion is business critical.
Newnham: If you could go back in time, what advice, if any, would you offer a younger Lauren?
Mosenthal: I was introduced and fell in love with software engineering later in life, so my advice would be - learn how to code pronto!