What an absolute honor it is to receive this year’s Woman of Impact award from Global Women Fresh!

Global Women Fresh is an organization that I have long admired and is doing amazing work elevating the role of women in the global agriculture community. I am honored and proud to be recognized for some of the work that I am especially passionate about.

At Artemis, we are building a software for growers and connecting the data throughout the supply chain to create more efficient processes, more profitable business, and reduce risk. We’ve started with the controlled environment agriculture industry, enabling it to grow profitably and sustainably as it matures. We are especially focused on hiring a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive environment at Artemis. Our company is 48% women, and I’m proud of our culture and core values that guide our work.

I’m also a partner at X Factor ventures where I’ve invested over $1 million in female founded companies over the past few years. This is especially important right now because only 2% of venture capital funding goes to female founded companies and that number is even worse for BIPOC women. Less than 50 Black women have raised more than $1 million in venture capital. On the venture capital side, 71% of firms in the US still don’t have a single female partner on their teams.

As a female founder and investor myself, I get to sit on both sides of the table where I am keenly aware of the inequalities that plague the tech, agriculture, and venture capital spaces. I’m incredibly passionate about getting more women in the boardroom and in positions of leadership.

A few years ago I was asked to participate in a panel where only 2 of the over 40 speakers were women. One of the reasons behind this lack of diversity is the pay-to-play structure for speaking engagements that are so common in our industry. We need to shift this so we can hear form more diverse leaders.

My call to action to anyone reading is to get on panels, apply to be a speaker, reach out to conferences, ask for a promotion to a position of leadership, and push for the change. If you are in a position of power, don’t hold an event without a woman speaker, prioritize diversity on your team and board, and invest in female founded businesses.

Organizations like Global Women Fresh play a critical role in elevating the work of women in agriculture. Again, I am honored to receive this year’s Woman of Impact award and am grateful for the opportunity to highlight this important work.

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