Having axed nearly all the people he follows on Twitter, rich-lister Sam Morgan is proudly down to fewer than ten. They’re all men. In the interests of broadening his horizons, here are some real life female humans he might like to add.
We don’t know you, but everyone in New Zealand sort of knows you. You founded Trade Me, you sold Trade Me for a lot of money, you got very rich and your dad got very rich, too, and he’s put some of that fortune towards herocially saving us from our own stupidity.
But that aside, you recently proclaimed on Twitter (which was kind of bad sosh med etiquette, in case you weren’t aware) that you had culled the number of people you follow, on both Twitter and Facebook (I note there was no word on your LinkedIn status, and no, I’m not resetting my password to check).
I couldn’t help but notice (as did women’s affairs Minister Julie Anne Genter) that of those “under 10” people (presumably not aged under ten) no less than 100% were men. And not one of them was your dad, Sam. Harsh, if probably fair.
And what a gallery of men it is. Your Kiwi contingency is well-covered among the under 10/top nine, with Xero founder Rod Drury, dentist and pro sugar-tax campaigner Dr Rob Beaglehole, and journalist Bernard Hickey. Heavy. There’s 2016 Prime Minister’s Scholarships winner Bain Hollister, who founded IT services company Clearpoint and is the chairman of cleaning app Goodnest. There’s a social enterprise/philanthropic venture fund managing director Kevin Starr and former Trade Me man Nigel Stanford.
From shores beyond there’s Elon Musk, which is so very cliche, but OK, whatever, and there’s Edward Snowden (ditto) and Alain de Botton (thritto?). But even Musk, who was also recently outed as following no women on Twitter, now follows three of them.
So we thought we’d do you a solid and highlight some women you might want to give a follow. Because it’s definitely not weird that not one single woman made the cut. It totally had to be nine. Because nine is less than ten. I get it.
Sacha Judd – @szechuan
I mean, her handle is @szechuan! Come on! And Sacha Judd has the credentials you appear to be looking for: New Zealand-based, managing director of startup investor Hoku (which you know was founded by Trade Me early doors employee and investor Rowan Simpson). Judd is also a “member of the Takeovers Panel, director of Silverstripe, startup champion, early-stage investor, co-host of Refactor, co-founder of Flounders’ Club, creator of Back of a Napkin. I speak at conferences and in-house events on startups, capital raising, diversity and inclusion in the tech sector, and how fans will transform the world.” She’s also a great tweeter. Perfect.
Frances Valintine (CNZM) – @francesvnz
Have we found a woman in New Zealand more influential in tech than Rod Drury? I reckon. Valintine is the chairperson and founder of The Mind Lab by Unitec. Basically, the future is digital and Frances Valintine is our kids’ best chance of being ready. The Mind Lab has eight centres across the country, and is teaching our teachers – and thousands of our children – new skills to equip them for a digital-led life. It’s not just me that rates her, Valintine has been chosen as one of the 50 most influential ed-tech people IN THE WORLD. And her tweets are uniformly cheerful and informative.
Jenée Tibshraeny – @JenneTibshraeny
Finding a doppleganger for one Mr Bernard Hickey is no easy ask. He’s affable, sometimes spiky, but always full of insights and putting NZ Inc at the middle of his economic reporting. I’m gonna take a slightly different tack and choose a Bernard-in-development, Interest.co.nz’s Jenée Tibshraeny. She’s showing all the signs of being a formidable talent, and is already doing heavyweight reporting on the insurance and Kiwisaver industries. In her opinion writing she shows no sign of fear, tackling oil and gas and adopting thoughtful, but contrary stances. How could you not follow her?
Dr Siouxsie Wiles – @SiouxsieW
Dr Siouxsie Wiles is Head of the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland. Yup, she makes mean as bugs glow in the dark. But she’s also a science communicator who aims to demystify science for the general public, a blogger and a podcaster, and she’s been screaming about bugs becoming antibiotic-resistant since way before it was a trendy mum thing. She’s even written the book on it, Antibiotic Resistance: The End of Modern Medicine. Did I mention the good doctor makes stuff glow in the dark? That’s cool. She also, of course, gives good tweet.
Kendal Flutey – @kendalflutey
Founder and CEO of financial literacy tool Banqer has helped to build a simulated online banking platform that gives kids a hands-on environment to play with money. She has been making waves here and across the ditch, although she’s based in Christchurch. The company recently picked up a Hi Tech Award gong and Flutey has been recognised as a Young Māori Business Leader. She’s a funny and self-deprecating tweeter.
Jenene Crossan – @Jenene
She’s been a highly public face for Kiwi online entrepreneurship for much longer than her age would possibly seem to allow for. As well as founding successful beauty-booking app Flossie, Jenene Crossan is involved with the influencer agency, the Bloggers Club, and was previously the woman behind pioneeering online mag NZGirl. More recently, Crossan has sparked much-needed dialogue about the brutal pressure startup founders find themselves under after revealing her battle with burnout. Is she a good tweeter? Look at the pedigree. Please.
Carrie Stoddart-Smith @Ellipsister
Heavy-hitter required? Check. A Master of Laws specialising in International Law and Politics? Yep. An interest in international relations and economic development? Totally! Māori development? Or course – Stoddart-Smith is a triple-threat, and a fantastic writer to boot.
Kara Swisher – @karaswisher
This is a straight swap for Elon Musk. And look, Recode founder Swisher DIDN’T INVENT anything and she’s not an engineer like the two women I found that everyone says are the female versions of Musk, but they’re not on Twitter. No idea why. Swisher is undoubtably a key player in the global tech world: Recode is the go-to for both snappy and incisive industry coverage (its annual Code event in LA is huge) and Swisher is both feared and liked. Impressive. And her Twitter game? Solid as a rock.
Ellen DeGeneres – @TheEllenShow
Alain de Botton, his Wikipedia page attests, has been accused of stating the obvious. Really? You don’t say. He’s also published these books: Essays in Love (1993), How Proust Can Change Your Life (1997), Status Anxiety (2004) and The Architecture of Happiness (2006).
Time to upgrade Alain de for Ellen De. DeGeneres’ has a matcher for all his pop philosophy tomes: My Point and I Do Have One; Seriously, I’m Kidding and The Funny Thing Is allude to the futility of modern life and how we seek to find meaning in the meaningless, but healthily highlight that none of it matters. DeGeneres gets it. Her tweets are a cross between advertorial for her many projects interspersed with snaps of cute kids and pets. But I’ll take that over de Botton any day.
In a rush to respond to Morgan’s omissions we made a big one of our own: the original version of this list included no women of colour. We regret this and have amended the list accordingly.
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