Sue Siegel, CEO, GE Ventures & healthymagination, was never one to talk about women’s issues: at the start of her career, she made a point not to mention her gender, ethnicity or even height: Siegel never grew taller than 4-foot-11, and is no stranger to looking different than those around her.
“I have been very careful never to use my diversity as a way for anyone to point to me as if I’ve used it to achieve my success,” Siegel told me. “I believe women can earn their way just like men can on their own merit.”
But last week, at 56 and as the CEO of GE Ventures, Siegel decided to share her experiences and as her first step in becoming a vocal advocate, delivered the keynote address at the Babson Breakaway Challenge. “If not us, then who?” she said. It’s a shared responsibility of the high-ranking women of her generation who have less to lose from speaking out.
In 2015, GE Ventures was No. 1 venture firm with eight females on top positions, followed by Andreessen Horowitz with seven, and Kleiner Perkins with six for 3rd place.
“Embracing different experiences and different input and making sure we have tolerance of that — and beyond tolerance, the willingness to learn from those differences, that makes it all better,” Siegel said.