This week, at the United State of Women Summit, we had the privilege of meeting Sukhinder Singh Casssidy, who is ambitious, gracious, wise and articulate. Sukhinder sets a great example for all of us to embrace risk and ambition and try many new things. And, in addition to her day job as CEO of Joyus, she is single-handedly creating more gender diversity in the tech industry through theBoardlist.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
Founder, theBoardlist AND CEO, Joyus
San Francisco, CA
FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
SSC: Since I was young, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Growing up, my father ran a medical practice in a small town in Canada, and I started helping him out when I was 10 doing things like filing his income taxes. My father was highly entrepreneurial and a risk-taker — he was one of the first buyers of AOL stock.
After college at Ivey Business School at Western University in Canada, I moved to New York to work for Merrill Lynch as a financial analyst and then to London, where I worked for British Sky Broadcasting. I ended up visiting a friend in the Bay Area and loved it so much, I decided to stay. I slept on a friend's parents' couch for almost three months looking for my first job, and my father was the person who encouraged all of that risk-taking.
My first job was disheartening; I was told I was too aggressive and was being given more menial tasks. I quit within 6 months and went to work at Junglee in business development, which was acquired by Amazon shortly after I started.
After building my career in business development at Junglee, I co-founded Yodlee, which built financial data systems. We eventually went through four rounds of funding and went public long after I left. I met Larry Page and Omid Kordestani from Google, and ended up becoming President of Asia Pacific and Latin America Operations.
Post-Google, I took on a role as CEO-in-Residence at Accel Partners while I planned the next phase of my career. I got the opportunity to step into the CEO role at Polyvore, which combined multiple things I was passionate about: fashion, design and technology. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out because of differences in the vision for the company — but a great learning experience for me personally.
I started Joyus in 2011; we bring engaging, entertaining video content in fashion, beauty and lifestyle to women who discover and buy compelling products through our platform. In addition to Joyus, I also started theBoardlist in 2015 as my passion project — increasing the representation of women on tech company boards.
FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
SSC: Being a mom to 3 amazing kids.
FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
SSC: Failing in my first CEO job at Polyvore.
FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?
SSC: Hang out with my family!
FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?
SSC: Tim Cook
FGB: What is your karaoke song?
SSC: “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
FGB: What is your favorite movie?
SSC: Love Actually
FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
SSC: The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
SSC: Vintage designer clothing finds
FGB: Who is your Fairygodboss?
SSC: Omid Kordestani, my boss at Google. He has a way of making everybody feel special.
FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share?
SSC: Learn how to sell your vision. Getting sales experience of any type is a muscle everyone should build.
Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career?
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