For those who are unaware, March is officially Women’s History Month. It’s a time for the country to unite and celebrate all of the major achievements made by women throughout the years. It’s a chance for us to pay homage to not just notable women in history, but to all women.
While Women’s History Month typically explores past achievements, two young women in the venture capital industry are making history as we speak. Venture capital is considered a male-dominated sector, with many senior-level positions being held by men. Luckily, two women are looking to set a trend and change the landscape of VC.
Hayley Barna and Rebecca Kaden are two, up-and-coming, female professionals working in venture capital and are both becoming general partners of their respective venture capital firms.
Barna was officially promoted to the role of general partner at First Round Capital in November 2017. Before that, Barna made waves at the company by developing an angel co-op, as well as holding monthly meetings with women in technology to discuss everything from professional to personal life. Before her time at First Round Capital, Barna was the co-founder and co-CEO of Birchbox, a cosmetics sampling startup that is, coincidentally, one of First Round’s portfolio companies.
Equally impressive is Ms. Kaden’s story; the young venture capital professional is now a general partner at Union Square Ventures. Kaden’s potential is exceptional; so much so, in fact, that the firm’s co-founder, Fred Wilson, has described her promotion as, “the start of the [firm’s] next generation.” Before her turn at Union Square, Kaden’s work in investments did not go unnoticed; she was featured in Forbes’ famous 30 Under 30 list in 2015.
Both of these women’s accomplishments are tremendous. They are both the first female general partners in their respective companies’ histories; that is not an easy feat and it should not simply be congratulated — it should be praised.
We here at The Opes Group hope that these two remarkable women inspire and influence a new generation of young women to become tomorrow’s leaders. We are witnessing a drastic, and much-needed, change in societal norms. We dream of a Me Too Movement that’s about women banding together about a shared positive experiences in the future.
Happy Women’s History Month!