Spotlight on Suzanna Keith / by Haley Smith

Meet Suzanna Keith - Founder and CEO of Hello Career Guru and Co-Founder Women In Innovation

Tell us about Hello Career Guru.

I am very honored to have founded Hello Career Guru with my dear friends Kendall Egan and Mercedes Riley fellow NYU Stern MBA alums and friends and work colleagues for 15 years. Since our days at NYU Stern Business School, our team has been very concerned about the lack of women in C-suite roles. Through 25 years of mentoring other women, we discovered that women do not have the guidance or the time to create a path for career success. 

In March of 2016, I co-founded the Women In Innovation Network (WIN) to help women address this issue. In just two months, over 500 women joined the WIN Meet Up Group, paid for events and engaged on social media. WIN has held six events including a lecture at Stern on Women In Emerging Digital Media with over 120 attendees. Since all six events were sold out and videos from the most recent panel received over 2K views on Facebook and LinkedIn, WIN truly provided proof of concept that corporate women need more career direction.

In fact, 60% of households in America need dual incomes. However, 40% of workingwomen are unable to find opportunities for their own career development (Department of Labor). This is a serious issue for the success of our economy and future generations. In fact, per our research, most women aged 25-45 find that their company’s career services do not help them plan a path for future growth. This trend is especially true for the millennials trying to pave careers in the startup world. 

The most recent McKinsey and Lean In Women In The Workplace study states that women start falling off the leadership path at the managerial level. For every 100 men promoted from entry-level to manager, only 79 women are promoted. No wonder a serious lack of C-suite women exists across all industries in America. However, a recent study by Quantopian shows that women-led companies perform 3x better than the S&P 500. Thus, Hell Career Guru is committed to the mission of diversity by integrating diverse stories, algorithms and hiring practices. In the future, we hope to offer scholarships to women in need across the country.

Given these trends and the current political climate, the timing to fulfill this serious need gap is now. So our team is introducing Hello Career Guru a virtual career trainer to help more women reach the C-suite or create a game plan for their career potential. Hello Career Guru will be available on computer, phone, Siri, Alexa, and Google Home; just imagine LinkedIn + My Fitness Pal + Facebook but with secure data! 

We would love if the Next Gen community would check out our crowdfunder at ifundwomen and let us know what they think.

What is the best piece of personal advice you’ve ever received? How about advice you’ve given?

The best piece of personal advice was to have the courage and be kind. The advice I give is short, sweet and simple: 1) listen carefully 2) analyze thoroughly and 3) act decisively.

Finally, sing as much as you can especially with family and friends and even if you can’t keep a tune.

Who is your entrepreneurial idol?

Aileen Lee is my entrepreneurial idol. 

She is a venture capital investor and the founder of Cowboy Ventures. She coined the often-used Silicon Valley term unicorn in a TechCrunch article "Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning from Billion-Dollar Startups". Moreover, this past April, she launched All Raise a non-profit organization dedicated to diversity in funders & founders. The All Raise team has developed initiatives such as Female Founder Office Hours, Founders for Change, and Women in VC community events.

I especially applaud the work of Founders for Change. #FoundersForChange is a movement driven by founders and CEOs who commit to diversity in their teams, boards, and cap tables. Over 700 companies have joined already.

Go-To Strutting Down the Street, Confidence Boost Power Song: Brave by Sara Bareilles 

Idols: Audrey & Katherine Hepburn

Fave Film: Miracle