Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.

What is your name and title?

Erin Angerer, Co-founder & COO at Floodlight Invest.

Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.

Floodlight is an early-stage fintech startup, which means my co-founder and I wear many of the hats required to operate the business. My background and passion have led me to focus extra attention on our product and customers.

How did you get here? Please share any quick stories from past work experiences.

I spent more than 10 years in banking, first in wealth management and later in corporate banking where I covered fintech and enterprise software companies. I spent my time in wealth management trying to innovate around impact investing, but I like to say, I was in the right place, but at the wrong time (I can tell you many stories of pitches I made to management). After wealth management, I started covering venture-backed startups which landed me a job with a fantastic team at Silicon Valley Bank. Working for the bank of innovation made it all too tempting to join the entrepreneurial party. I left SVB in 2019 and launched Floodlight with my good friend and co-founder.

In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?

It took until I was well into my career to own my personal brand. It took me a while, but once I leaned in and allowed myself to voice my opinions things really took off.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?

With hardship comes resilience, and when you make it to the other side the feeling of satisfaction is incredibly powerful. And that feeling will carry you through the next hurdle you encounter. #theyearof2020

What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?

UNCONSCIOUS bias. I capitalize unconscious because it is the people who say they are huge supporters of women, but who act in opposition to that statement that creates the biggest challenge because they really think they are supporters. It takes a really special person to break down their bias and learn how to support women and act accordingly.

Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?

Mentors/friends/confidants. I’m incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by inspiring, thoughtful and ambitious people. The best mentors in my life aren’t the people who celebrate everything I do. The best mentors, in my experience, point out my missteps and challenge me to do better.

What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?

Be confident and be yourself. The tides are changing in corporate America and the highest value you bring is your unique perspective. Don’t be timid, the world needs to hear from you.

What is one thing companies can do, big or small, to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions?

Get women in the room where decisions are made. If you have an MD meeting at your company and you don’t have any female MDs, bring a female Director or a VP into the room, count her vote and listen to her.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?

As an early-stage company in the middle of the Barclays Techstars Fintech program, my goal is for Floodlight to find product-market fit.

Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?

Best Buddies. This organization holds a special place in my heart because of the incredible people it serves, who I’ve been fortunate enough to meet. BB is dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). I originally learned about the organization through Silicon Valley Bank who sponsors the annual century bike ride fundraiser in California.

When did your company join Pledge 1%? What does your impact program mean to you?

Floodlight officially joined Pledge 1% when we were accepted into Techstars in Q1 2021. Pledge 1% is a perfect complement to our corporate mission to leave the industry we serve better than we found it. One way we are committed to this mission is to actively engage communities with less access to resources and do our best to share the prosperity afforded to our company.

What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?

I absolutely love spending time outside, I ride bikes, play tennis, golf, and love long walks. But as a new mom with a 3-month-old baby, many of my hobbies now include staring at him for awkwardly long periods of time 🙂

Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!

A Promised Land by Obama (must read). A friend recently turned me on to the Smartless podcast, and those guys are hilarious. I want to be their friend to just hang out and laugh at all their low key jokes.

What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?

Ha! Be pregnant during the pandemic, it means you can work in sweats and have your feet up during all calls. But more seriously, I couldn’t have survived this last year without my village of amazing women.