IMG_5192Last night was a very special Poker 2.0.  It was my first night as a Co-Host to this incredible community event, and it was also one for the record books in terms of gender diversity.  Bob has been trying to get more women to Poker 2.0 for ages.  With two new female co-hosts in the founding city, and a new zeal for closing the gender gap we set out to get women in at least half of the seats.
In order to do this, we reached out to women first.  Then we invited the men on our list, but on one condition: men could only attend if they invited at least one female founder investor or executive.  Most of the men invited more than one woman, many men who couldn’t even attend wanted to get more women involved!  The resulting room was filled with incredible women representing delightfully diverse backgrounds, and men who are allies to this cause.  It was spectacular.
At one point I counted who was in the room.  Out of about 50 people, I counted only 15 men.
I was thrilled to see so many women enthusiastically committing to being Big Dogs without even know what it meant, bucking the stereotype that women are risk-averse.  There was an excited buzz in the room that lasted all night as the veteran players (men and women) brought the first time and first-time-in-a-long-time poker players up to speed on the protocol and pageantry of Texas Hold ‘Em.  I overheard conversations about funding, and shipping products and the importance of female founders supporting each other’s efforts.
“Please invite me again; this was amazing!” was the common request as women filed out over the course of the evening.  Don’t worry ladies; we want you back next month, and the months after that!
I’m looking forward to getting to know more of you around the poker tables soon!
— Britta Jacobs