Meet Rania Hoteit, the serial entrepreneur who is innovating at the cutting edge of technology. Think robots, articifical intelligence and 3D printing – and a superbrain able to connect the dots across disciplines to see opportunities and value where others do not. CEO and fo-founder of ID4A Technologies, Rania is reinventing the supply chain for companies like Walmart, Steelcase and Amtrak. She’s also a recognized leader in women’s empowerment and gender equality.
She came to the U.S. at age 18 – leaving her parents and family behind in Beirut, Lebanon, with only $1,000. “I had no set plans, no clear vision of the future,” she tells WINGS host Melinda Wittstock.
She is now innovating at the cutting edge of technology – think robots, 3D printing and artificial intelligence. A serial entrepreneur with two exits behind her, and ow CEO and cofounder of ID4A Technologies, Rania has had to overcome often blatant sexism in Silicon Valley.
“This VC would look at me without even saying hellow and he would say, ‘what’s a sexy girl like you doing in San Francisco’?”
Rania walked out of some 20 meetings with venture capital firms – until she learned to call out bad behavior and ask the VC to start over in a more constructive way. “My advice for women is to build as many negotiation opportunities as possible.”
Here are some of Rania’s tips for women in business, particularly technology entrepreneurs:
- Be Alert in Negotiation: “…how the conversation is moving, what you’re hearing, what the person is saying, what their body language is, what kinds of words they are using, so you can respond very quickly. You have to be a very agile conversationalist so you can divert the conversation in your favor…”
- Women Helping Women: Rania says she spends a lot of time sharing her wisdom and experience with other women founders coming up. “I mentor a lot of founders; I advise a lot of companies…for me it is my opportunity to contribute to creating mindset changes …”
- Be Prepared for Rejection: Biases are deeply entrenched, says Rania, and there is a huge probability you will be overlooked, rejected, dismissed…” and the trick is not to take it personally.
- Don’t Discriminate Against Yourself: “I’ve had so many conversations with women who say things like, ‘I avoid wearing a certain style or I would avoid wearing my hair loose, or I would try to look ugly to avoid being objectified’,” says Rania. But refusing to be yourself is self-discrimination: Be in integrity with yourself, she says.
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Read the full transcript here:
More about ID4A here: http://www.id4a.com
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