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Many studies on the state of women in the workplace seem to reinforce the doom and gloom of modern women's experience. They tell us something we already know – that you're going to have to speak ten times louder to be heard half as often, and there's no amount of leaning in or wearing shoulder pads that can fix that. A recent report conducted by Babson College and Bank of America found that female business owners don't feel like they're being taken seriously, which is pretty much old news at this point. But the report also explored the specific barriers women business owners feel like they're facing so we can jump over those barriers, no shoulder pads needed.

Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 30 women who own businesses that make more than $5 million in annual revenues, and the discussions were very revealing. "[W]omen who have built successful companies had to navigate significant gender-based obstacles. In doing so, these women created alternate paths to success for themselves, and for other similarly unstoppable female entrepreneurs," Bank of America said in a release. The study found that there were three main misconceptions: market misperceptions, network exclusions, and managing expectations while underfunded.

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Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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