Almost empty nester Diane Flynn helps lead other women to new options in mid-life

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on August 10, 2015

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After an early career in management consulting and electronic gaming, Menlo Park resident Diane Flynn decided to take a break to spend time at home with her three children. Like others in her situation, she did some volunteering but that didn’t necessarily keep her job skills up to date, especially in the rapidly changing area of technology.

In January, with two daughters out of the house and another child headed to high school in the fall, she got lured back to work, initially to help her husband who was interim CEO of GSVlabs. With the naming of a permanent CEO, she found herself liking both the mission of the organization and her colleagues enough to continue as Chief Marketing Officer.

One program she’s particularly proud of getting off the ground is ReBoot Accelerator for Women, which will begin a Fall session next month; the early bird deadline is August 15.

“The women I talked with didn’t feel current, confident or connected,” Diane said. “They say, ‘I’d love to go back to work but…’ Right here in this building we have 150 startups. We have workshop space. We have people like Guy Kawasaki involved.

“We put a steering committee of women together, a number who I knew from Harvard Business School. We brainstormed on what re-entry women need and want. What’s the next act? We hoped to get 30 women involved with our spring session but ended up with 50!”

Because so many of these women wanted to stay involved and in touch, GSVlabs hosted a series of speakers this summer on workplace related topics.

“We believe there is a huge pool of untapped potential among women who have taken some time off,” said Diane. “Their kids are out of the house and they’re looking for new challenges. Most of us have a good 30 more years!”

Photo by Irene Searles (c) 2015

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