Women-exclusive Network Platform Chief Opens New San Francisco Clubhouse

In 2019, start-up Chief established an invitation-only networking platform for executive women, which witnessed a boost in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The club opened locations in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. 

Executive women only, though men are permitted entry.

The San Francisco Clubhouse

In a report by CNBC, the San Francisco Bay Area was identified by Chief’s founders as the location where the company would see the most demand for its services. Therefore the company secured a $100 million Series B investment headed by Alphabet venture arm CapitalG earlier this year.

The newly-opened clubhouse sits near San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid. Founders Lindsay Kaplan and Carolyn Childers claimed Silicon Valley was the most popular. 

About 2,000 local members work in the area for companies including Apple, Meta, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Zoom, and Stanford.

The 8,600-square-foot area has a full-service bar, lounge, conference rooms, private phone booths, and Mothers Room. All of Chief’s clubhouse artwork comes from Tze Chun’s firm Uprise Art.

Over 300 members attended the San Francisco launch. Many club members had flown in for the October opening of the clubhouse.

Vice President of GoPro Worldwide Susan Cevallos Coleman was there for the launch. 

Attica Jaques, Google’s global head of brand marketing, also attended the opening night.

A month after the San Francisco Chief club opened, ladies believe it is a milestone more than a mere new building.

Related Story: Google-Backed All-Women Networking Group Expands in the UK; Chief Now Conducting First International Expansion

‘Exclusionary Boys Clubs’ No More

Silicon Valley’s homogenous demographics favor white men in top positions. Exclusionary “boys clubs” have dominated the world’s tech centers. 

Jacques, a San Francisco native who came back to the city in 2019, stated, “We tend to always feel like we have to pull up a seat at the table if it’s not there, so we’ve built a muscle around it.”

Coleman added, “The women who have somehow, some way made it to where we are now, can now influence the younger women who may be hesitant to dip their toes in the lake because what they read is it may not be a friendly place for them.”

Long-term Outlook

Coleman has worked in tech auditing in Silicon Valley since the early 2000s at Sun Microsystems. She plans to use the room as a central gathering spot for her dispersed Chief members. 

Jacques expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity to host speaker events and networking happy hours.

Women flocked to Chief’s platform during the Covid-19 outbreak as a support system, the participants stated. HBO, American Express, Nike, Google, Goldman Sachs, NASA, and Apple are among the 8,500 firms that have joined. 

Membership costs $5,800 for vice presidents and $7,900 for C-suite executives. About 70% of members are employer-sponsored.

With financing from Alphabet’s investment arm and a subscription-based business model, it is more sustainable than real-estate-focused companies like The Wing, which closed last summer.

Childers and Kaplan said they should be able to start assessing applications more rapidly now that the firm has more money to recruit people and deploy the technology.

Read Also: The Tech World Needs More Women In Leadership; Naimeesha Murthy Is Committed To Making It Happen

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Written by Trisha Kae Andrada

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