Elizabeth Carlassare is one hot salsa dancer. The 34-year-old is also an Internet strategist and coach for women in technology and women entrepreneurs, helping them reach their goals and craft the lives they want.
"The Internet has created all kinds of opportunities for women," says Carlassare, author of DotCom Divas: E-Business Insights from the Visionary Women Founders of 20 Net Ventures. "The Internet is not particularly tied to entrenched power structures or ways of working," she says.
Carlassare created Dotcomdivas.net, an online open forum for women Internet entrepreneurs, and plans to launch monthly meetings on the same topic in Silicon Valley this month.
Women Internet entrepreneurs all share an enterprising mix of courage, intelligence, business savvy and a little luck, Carlassare says. Several key trends have helped increase the number of women, including more abundant capital resources than ever before and womens increased access to these resources.
The Internet has also provided more role models for women in business and technology, and created more female venture capitalists, she says.
Today, more support organizations exist for women entrepreneurs and women in technology, Carlassare says. More media attention for women entrepreneurs and executives, and the increased recognition of the purchasing power of women online, are helping.
Carlassare has more than 10 years of experience at high-technology companies, including Adobe Systems, Intuit, Silicon Graphics Inc. and MyWebtivity, an Internet company she co-founded.
Carlassare is working on a second book on how to balance work and family life in the technology field. "The balancing act is one of the greatest challenges women in technology face today," Carlassare says.