Marla Schuchman

Tell us your story.

I had been using AOL and Netscape on my parents' computers since about age 9. I used to complain that my dad's modem was slow (9600) compared to my mom's 28.8. When I bought my first computer (one that would live in MY room) with gift money when I was 13, I spent a lot of time talking to strangers in chat rooms, posting on message boards, visiting music websites and of course, updating my AOL profile.

Before we had internet access, I used to play with MS Paint in Windows 3.0 and create "graphic designs". At first, I thought I wanted to be a graphic designer. Then in college I realized I'd like to be the person deciding what the graphic designer would design, so I focused on Marketing careers. After a really poor internship at a failing ad agency, I found a job as a copywriter for a startup. And thus, my current career trajectory was born.

I fell in love with the startup world, and with the parallel tech world. When I knew that first startup wasn't going anywhere fast, I took another job and began some side consulting. At the time, I was an American living in Tel Aviv, and having native English proved useful for companies whose main markets were Europe or the US. Eventually I got my Masters in Management, focusing on Technology and Entrepreneurship.

My last job in Israel was for a Hi-Tech company operating in the digital security space. When I returned to the US, I decided it was time to go off on my own full time. Currently, I consult startups and other businesses as they prepare to launch new ventures. In particular, I focus on Social Entrepreneurship, Clean/Green Tech, and Civic-Government solutions.

What do you most want other women and young girls to know about being a woman in our digital culture?

There are women role models everywhere, you just might have to look harder to find them. And - gasp! - men can be role models too! Your mentor might not be in the same industry or field as you, but that doesn't mean he/she can't support you. Your coach might be younger than you, and maybe that's enough to light a fire that says to you, "gee, I should get on it!" Find someone or many someones who see where you're going and can remind you how to get there if you get lost.

The Women in Tech campaign exists to help redefine what women in technology means in the 21st century. Started independently by a group of professional women who, after many impassioned discussions about women in tech knew we wanted to expand this definition beyond 'traditional' technology skills. To us, it includes most every current, emerging or evolving role within an organization. By featuring leaders and emerging leaders across industries who embody this we hope to collectively 'stand up', be proud of our place in the digital world and inspire young women or those new to the 'tech space' to get involved.