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  • Team QBO

Women in startups say no to burnout culture

The modern woman is a girlboss– the image of grace under tremendous pressure, a hard worker who never complains, and a go-getter who effortlessly crosses everything off her checklist with a smile. Or so we’ve been led to believe.


In reality, most women in the workplace tend to be overlooked, overworked, and undervalued. The same can be said of women in the startup scene. There is a reflexive glorification of the hustle and not nearly enough emphasis placed on the importance of rest in the workplace. This “grind” mindset is further reinforced in this digital age where the next email or social media post is but a few clicks away, anytime, and anywhere with a reliable internet connection.


In celebration of Women’s Month, QBO hosted its first #BreakTheBias Petcha Kucha where women from different stages in their startup journey shared their thoughts and experiences while championing against burnout in the startup space. Below, you’ll find some of the lessons they’ve learned along the way.


“Pump up your reserves of self-compassion.” - Eunice Braga



Eunice continues to expound this statement by reminding us that “you can’t give from an empty cup.”


When life’s roadblocks come about, it’s easy to turn inwards and blame yourself for these setbacks. It’s at these low points where self-compassion is most essential. Slowly, with the help and support of your community, you’ll be able to rekindle the fire behind your why and begin anew– maybe even coming back stronger than you were.


“Stop gaslighting yourself into thinking that you have to constantly prove your worth.” Nicole Mediavillo



Women work twice as hard because their gender almost automatically places them at a systemic disadvantage in the workplace. We see it all the time– the fear of being good enough.


For centuries now, the reflexive response of many women, myself included, is to overcompensate, to do much, much more than what is necessary to be able to validate their place in the workforce.But at what cost?


Nicole reminds us that it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no need to romanticize toxic work mindsets because this isn’t the only way to grow and thrive.


You are already enough, just look around and you’ll find that you have an entire support system of women startup founders that are rooting for you.


"Fighting for women empowerment is necessary.” - Bianca Cruz



“When a woman asserts her point, she comes off too strong, but when a man does the same thing, it’s being decisive,” Bianca states to exemplify just one of the many double standards women face in the workplace.


Though the conditions for women in tech have improved in the last few years, there is still a ways to go to reach true equality in terms of representation, opportunities, and funding both globally and locally. The fight for gender equality at work is far from over.


It takes time to dismantle learned behaviors and move towards a more inclusive startup ecosystem, but at the same time, we have the opportunity to amplify our call to #BreaQTheBias because of technology.


There is no innovation without great and lasting change, and that starts with us. How do you #BreaQTheBias? Share your stories, or the stories of the women in the startup community who have inspired or motivated you to push boundaries in the field of tech, by filling up this form.