100 days of FemaleOneZero.
A personal balance

Time for a short summary: Natascha Zeljko, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of FemaleOneZero, wrote about her daily work at F10, about her thoughts and visions, the best stories she came across and why her parents are not worried anymore after she quit her prestigious job to start an own business

First, I fell in love with the name: Female One Zero. Then, we put it together as FemaleOneZero. How great, how cool it sounds! How promising! Immediately I had one of those fancy New York addresses on the Upper East Side in mind, although we have nothing to do with fancy or New York. One and Zero stands for the binary code – Zero, one. One, zero. A little gimmick that’s supposed to reflect our digital DNA.

FemaleOneZero, in short F10 started with a small team between Berlin, Dresden, Karlsruhe and Munich. Six months from – there it is again – zero on one, from the idea to the launch of the website. In buzzword-English: agile working!

The vision of FemaleOneZero

Why did Tijen and I found FemaleOneZero (together with her husband Marco, F10 is a marriage of three)? We believe that there is a momentum for the issues surrounding female empowerment, and that these issues are closely related to diversity and digitization. We have built F10 on these three pillars – as a home for women around the world who shape this epochal change. Our vision is that F10 should become the first address for this new world and its brilliant female – and male protagonists. Change only goes together and not against each other. F10 is supported by a great deal of quirky and never ending optimism.  

My great mentor

I have 20 years of publishing experience behind me. Those were not always the easy years, but they surely were good ones. I have learned everything that one could learn. I had an important mentor to whom I owe a lot. Without her I would not be where I am today. Thank you, Sabine! Now I am often asked: How do you like your new job? The image that comes to me spontaneously – I am someone who depends on associative memory – is the image of a gas station. It’s like being filled with inspiration every day. 100 octane! In the last 100 days I have spoken to so many intelligent, sympathetic and charismatic women that sometimes after such conversations I am almost drunk with happiness. That’s how fulfilment works. Sorry for the dramatics!

Favorite stories on FemaleOneZero

If I were to list the best of all, where shall I start, where shall I stop? Okay, let’s start from the beginning: First I had an interview with Ann-Kristin Achleitner in her office. How approachable can someone be who has made it so far? How avid and enthusiastic can someone be for a project that has just started? That impressed me very much. Then I was allowed to interview Vera Schneevoigt (working then at Fujitsu, soon the Bosch group) while shooting our video format “Welcome to my Office”. Seldom in eight minutes have I ever heard more intelligent and wise words from someone. Vera! Great role model! Miriam Wohlfarth told me her story, while she was in San Francisco and me in Munich. The story of how she founded ‘RatePAY’, almost lost it and then turned it into one of the biggest players in her industry. Hero! Sheroe! What else was there? Kerstin Ewelt, she in Mountain View, me in London, spoke via Skype about how after a great career in Germany – two children and eight years later – she started all over again in Silicon Valley at the age of 42! Awesome! And then I had the idea for “The Day I Quit My Job” – maybe a little driven by my own story. Women tell us about why they quit their jobs. What they learned and how it went on from there. For example, Enise Lauterbach, a cardiology specialist who, after a long long training and untiring commitment, finally quit her job and put an end to the hospital chapter. Today she is working on a groundbreaking project: bringing AI and cardiology together – I think we will hear a lot more from this amazing woman.

Journalist and digital expert Anita Zielina, appointed Director of Leadership and Innovation at the City University of New York, sends us “Notes on Diversity & Innovation” every four weeks. Asumpta Lattus interviews a female AI expert for us every month – the series is sensibly called “A and I”. My conversations and WhatsApp conferences with Asumpta is endless fun. And then there are two brilliant women in Switzerland: the fabulous Patrizia Laeri, financial expert and presenter at the SRF and Sunnie Groeneveld, multipreneur (Inspire 925). Patricia told me why GDP is no longer a contemporary benchmark for the new world and over the next few days, I will be interviewing Sunnie on the subject of New Leadership.

After the preliminary talk with Sunnie, my parents called me. As parents they are worried whether this new life of mine as the founder of a start-up was really, now: really, the right decision? That topic is over by now.

Could anything possibly top this? Yes! Because what carries us with an ease from the very beginning and giving us the comforts of an air cushion is this incredibly loyal, agile community. They are not just users and readers. No, these women have something important to say, they are experts in their own domain and they talk and write about it. On FemaleOneZero.