Marissa Evans Alden is a seasoned technology entrepreneur and founder with more than a decade of experience in startups. She currently serves as CEO and Co-Founder of Sawyer, which uses technology to connect parents and providers of the best enriching childhood experiences to ensure every child has the opportunity to discover their own love of learning.
Prior to starting Sawyer, Marissa founded the consumer fashion application Go Try It On. After being acquired in 2014, Marissa led the Growth Team at Rent the Runway until starting Sawyer. She holds a BS in Human Development from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband Ben and their daughter Blake.
WITH GROUPS CREATING PROGRAMS TO ENCOURAGE FEMALES TO CONSIDER STEM, WHAT IS THE BIGGEST BARRIER TO ENTRY THAT IS STILL PREVALENT TODAY?
As a young female, it's hard to imagine yourself as a leader in STEM-focused industries like technology, simply because the leaders of those industries "don't look like you" or share your challenges and fears as a woman. The more female leaders we have in STEM, the easier it will be for women to "see themselves" as leaders in their own right.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?
My inspiration comes from the parents who successfully, and sometimes unsuccessfully, juggle raising a family and building a career – my parents included. It also comes from the powerful women in tech that are pushing the envelope from both a professional and personal standpoint. Katrina Lake, founder of Stitch Fix, rang her IPO bell holding her son in her arms. That was a badass moment.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT/ACCOMPLISHMENT?
Personally, I'm so proud of the family I'm building with my husband – we have a young daughter and we are doing our best to build a happy, healthy life for her. Professionally, I'm proud of building an organization where 30+ people come to work every day feeling pride and joy in what they do, while building a product that reaches and helps hundreds of thousands of people.