2024’s Tech Power Players: Increased Female Leadership in Startups


A generational shift is sweeping through the startup scene in Boston and beyond, as long-standing investors and entrepreneurs retire, making way for a more diverse cohort to take the reins.

At Underscore VC in Boston, for instance, Lily Lyman, 38, assumes leadership as founder Michael Skok steps aside. Lyman, the youngest and first female head of the firm, epitomizes a broader trend of women ascending to prominent roles in VC firms, startups, and tech-focused organizations.

Image credit: boston globe

Nine new women join the Globe’s 2024 Tech Power Players list, reflecting a concerted effort to diversify leadership. Yet, despite these strides, Boston’s startup community still grapples with a lack of diversity, evident in the scant VC funding directed toward women-founded startups.

While the departure of industry pioneers like Bijan Sabet and Mackey Craven signals a changing of the guard, newcomers like Lyman inject fresh perspectives and initiatives. Lyman’s tenure at Underscore, following years at Facebook, underscores her dedication to amplifying women’s voices and supporting female-led startups.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Lyman is actively involved in initiatives like All Raise, advocating for greater female representation in venture investing. She remains optimistic about the talent pool emerging from Boston’s academic institutions and burgeoning tech sector, believing it holds the key to sustaining the city’s startup ecosystem’s vibrancy.

One such talent is Leah Ellis, CEO of Sublime Systems, whose innovative approach to carbon emissions reduction has garnered attention. Ellis, along with her team, is pioneering solutions to mitigate the environmental impact of cement manufacturing, securing significant grants and investments despite initial skepticism from VC investors.

As the torch passes to a new generation of leaders, the onus lies on them to ensure diversity and inclusion remain at the forefront of Boston’s innovation ecosystem. With women like Lyman, Ellis, and Hodges leading the charge, there’s hope for a more equitable future in tech and entrepreneurship.

Re-reported from the article originally published in The boston globe.

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