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Adriana Gascoigne, Founder of Girls in Tech

Hustle Crew

adriana afterlight headshot.jpg

Adriana is the Founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization devoted to empowering, educating and mentoring women in the tech industry across over 60 chapters internationally. She is also a partner at Founders Den in the heart of San Francisco's SOMA district where Girls in Tech's offices are located.

Adriana has also served in executive roles at RxMatch and QwikCart, Ogilvy & Mather and SecondMarket, the largest secondary trading platform, where she was responsible for branding strategy, event production and digital media efforts.

In addition to working with technology start-ups like Indiegogo, SGN, Algentis,, Swyft, ImpulseFlyer and GUBA, Adriana has served as a strategic advisor for companies like NexTravel, StartupStockExchange, Numiyo Technologies, Palindrome Advisors, CharityBlossom, DooChoo, and She is also on the advisory boards for Nailbot, Cocoon Cam and Roost.

Adriana holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Economics from the University of California at Davis, received a certification from El Tecnologico de Monterrey in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and participated in Semester at Sea, University of Pittsburgh in 1997. Adriana is also fluent in Spanish.

What does your week/ day/ month look like?

Every week is different. A lot of people say that—but I really mean it! I travel a lot for work, so I can wake up in a different city any given week. No matter where I am, my days are filled with lots of phone and video calls, meeting with the Girls in Tech Board, our partners and chapter leaders. My team is located all around the world, so this may mean meetings in the very early mornings or late at night. If I am in San Francisco, where I live, I squeeze in time to work out and see friends.

Who do you dream of collaborating with?

I think the better question is who I don’t dream of collaborating with. One of the best parts about working to advance women in technology is that you meet remarkable people along the way. There’s so many women I have so much admiration for—from Marissa Mayer and Jessica Alba to Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. I would be honored to partner with many of these ambitious and intelligent entrepreneurs and world changers.

What’s something you’ve done that you were told couldn't be done?

I’m not sure if I’ve ever explicitly been told these things can’t be done, but I’ve do many things that I’m proud of. I’ve held leadership positions at numerous startups in the earliest, foundational stages. I moved to Silicon Valley on my own in my mid-twenties to explore the tech industry. I’ve taken Girls in Tech from a one-night networking mixer to a worldwide movement. I genuinely believe that I can do nearly anything. And that’s not coming from a place of arrogance or ignorance; I’ve learned that half the battle is just being fearless enough to take the leap and give things a try. So now I take a lot of risks. And most of the time I win.

Which new author/ authors?

I love to read. I try to carve out the time and make it happen. I can’t speak to new authors in particular, but I adore David Sedaris and anything by Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler. Secretly, I have total potty mouth humor. I like reading books that I can relax with.

How do you destress?

Since I travel so much, it’s nice for me to unwind and take things slow when I am back home in San Francisco. That means exploring the city with my boyfriend, Michael, checking out new restaurants and hitting up barbeques with friends. But seeing my parents, who love in SoCal, is the ultimate de-stresser. I can’t think of any other activity that helps me return to who I am, reflect and recharge.

Which quote do you look to when you need an extra push?

“You can do anything, but not everything.” I hold this quote close. It’s a reminder to slow down and realize that yes, I can make just about anything happen, but it doesn’t have to be tackled all at once! And for me, that’s easier said than done.