As the founder and CEO of Plum Alley, an e-commerce and crowdfunding site for women’s innovation, and a founder of Women Innovate Mobile Accelerator, an accelerator that invests in women-founded mobile tech companies, Deborah Jackson certainly does all she can to help fulfill this dream. We asked her a few questions about how her career led her to her current role.
Q: How did your professional career begin, and how you did you end up where you are today?
A: After graduating from Columbia Business School in 1980 and joining Goldman Sachs, I started my finance career focusing on health care clients and shortly moving into health-care focused Internet and tech companies. This experience evaluating software and technology companies, forging partnerships and raising capital was all instrumental to the online properties I have launched in the last two years. My time on Wall Street definitely fueled a desire to see more women succeed in their own ways and in their own companies.
Q: Can you name a leader for whom you have great respect and tell us why?
A: Hillary Clinton, because she is a fabulous mother, has weathered the storm being a first lady, and has come into her own being secretary of state. Mostly, she is a great champion for women.
Q: As a leader in your company, what is the best piece of advice you would offer to a new employee to help them succeed?
A: Expect that you will make mistakes, learn from them and move on.
Q: What would you say has been your driving force in your staying power in a male-dominated industry?
A: Having clients that really appreciate my contribution and seeing hospitals built as a result of financing prowess.
Q: As a seasoned professional, how do you share your experience with your team on a daily basis?
A: We have an open office and a small team, so everyone is able to participate in the various meetings and interviews that go on in the office.
Q: What is the one thing you make time for in your daily life that helps keeps you refreshed and positive?
A: I have a dinner conversation with my husband.