Celebrating Women's History Month-Meet Our Community Partnership Director, Emily Gupton!

Fri, March 29, 2024 11:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Emily Gupton

Speed Round Questions

College Major: Undergrad: BS in Neuroscience and BS in Business Administration - both from the University of Texas at Dallas / Executive MBA from Texas Woman's University / Digital Transformation Certificate from MIT

Favorite high school/summer job: Working at a French bakery with half my high school friends our senior year. We had a blast, ate lots of good snack and learned a lot about interacting with people.

Favorite Quote/Mantra: "Be the change you wish to see in the world" -Mahatma Gandhi and "This too shall pass".

App you can't live without: New York Times Games - got to get that Wordle in each day! Work related: Monday.

Hobby you'd like to explore more: Playing the clarinet.


In celebration of Women's History Month, who are the women who've made the biggest impact on your life?

EG: My mom is one of them for sure. She raised me as a single mother and chose a continued career path as a teacher so we could have summers and long breaks off together. She is an avid believer in equity for all and taught me so many things growing up. Beth Goff-McMillan, my CEO at FOLIO, was such an inspiration for me when I moved to Austin. She is heavily involved in the community in many ways - from donating money and time, to angel investing in female-founded startups, to speaking at different engagements, and serving as a mentor for others in Austin. Beth's involvement and encouragement for me to do the same allowed me to grow tremendously as a human, and executive, and champion of women in technology. She will forever hold a special place in my heart. The third group - the Austin Women in Technology board. Whether still on the board, or not, being connected to this group of women has inspired me in so many ways.

What has been your most meaningful learning opportunity in your career? How has it shaped you in your current position?

EG: When Beth and I decided to build FOLIO to sell to the greater commercial real estate, design, and furniture market, I had to figure out what it takes to build a technology product and technology company. I took classes at MIT to prepare and joined Austin Women in Technology to find a community to support my new endeavor. Transitioning into this role as COO + product owner of FOLIO has taught me a lot about technology in general, fundraising, managing tons of different stakeholders, and so much more.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing women in the workforce today?

EG: The balance of "work from home" and "return to office" seems to be a struggle, especially for working moms (and dads). The ability to have flexible schedules to accommodate the needs of kiddos is so important in keeping women in the workforce and helping them move up the ladder. In addition, giving women the tools, mentors, and clear path required to move up the career ladder is still a struggle. The stats say it all - for every 100 men promoted from entry-level jobs to managed positions, only 87 women get promoted and only 73 women of color get promoted. In addition, 1 in 4 c-suite leaders are women, while 1 in 16 c-suite leaders are women of color. We still have work to do to create equity for all.

What technological advances are you most excited about?

EG: Oh man. So many! There are crazy things happening with genetic-driven medicine, biotech, and other deep science technology that are coming at us at a rapid pace. Local companies like InSyBio, Neurox1, and Triumvira are doing amazing work in the biotech and health tech spaces. It will be interested to see where AI and machine learning head as we move forward in time.

What advice would you give to your younger self, and to young women getting their first full-time position?

EG: Be confident and be curious. Getting your first full-time gig out of school can be scary. Have confidence in yourself and be curious about the role and what you need to learn to advance in the position or keep up with the changing pace of technology and general workforce trends. You've got this!

Lastly, do you have any favorite female-focused charities or causes you'd like people to know more about?

EG:  Outside of Austin Women in Technology, Girlstart, Girls Empowerment Network, and WiSTEM do great things for our next generation of females and female leaders. Check them out and get involved today!

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