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History of GirlGeeks
Empowering Women

GirlGeeks was founded in 1998 by Kristine Hanna and Peter Crosby as a documentary film project about women's past, present and future impact on computing.

Starting with on-camera interviews and an informational website, the name originally included a question mark -- GirlGeeks? -- because the filmmakers wanted to explore the stereotype of the word "geek", meeting women who considered "geekiness" to be an insult and others that considered it a badge of honor. Turns out that Geek was a powerful description and definitely chic, so GirlGeeks dropped the question mark and pioneered the use of rich content, mentored community, and career-enhancement commerce online to gather, train and promote women with technology skills of all kinds into better jobs. Fortune 1000 companies paid for sponsorships as well as recruiting services that GirlGeeks offered.

Funded by Angel Investors and Silicon Valley investors in 1999, served as many as 50,000 unique visitors a month with a staff of 22. Some of the accomplishments along the way:

  • Job board and Resume Database populated by Fortune 1000 companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Dell, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Walgreens, TRW.
  • Thriving, active and vocal online community including mentoring groups, live chats, online discussion forums, and a weekly email newsletter
  • Live Webcasts for Take Our Daughters To Work Day and National Techies Day, with panels, streaming media and web audience participation
  • Live GirlGeeks events at Comdex in Las Vegas and Chicago, each attended by over 1500 people
  • Video coverage of events across the nation, such as the Webby Awards, the Texas Conference for Women, Professional Business Women of California, Society for Women Engineers, Seybold and Esther Dysons™ PC Forum
  • More than 500 video, audio and text chat interviews of leading women in technology were produced and displayed on site GirlGeeks Inc. closed its doors in September 2001.

The company was unable to find a buyer and sought court protection and dissolution in early 2002. All its unsalable media content (website, URL, video library) were donated to the 501(c)3 non-profit Bay Area Video Coalition. BAVC relaunched the site as in September 2002. In 2004, BAVC stopped maintaining the site, and it was returned to the original co-founders.

GirlGeeks Co-Founders

Kristine HannaKristine S. Hanna

Kristine Hanna launched GirlGeeks with the mission of empowering professional IT women by providing access to career advancement tools, including jobs, mentors and IT training.

Kristine is a twice Emmy-nominated producer/writer and has spent over a decade producing in television and feature films. Prior to GirlGeeks, Ms. Hanna worked for six years for George Lucas as a visual effects producer.

Ms. Hanna holds a B.A. from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. She was raised in Atherton, California, and splits her time between Northern California and Central Texas. She can be reached at

Peter Crosby Peter S. Crosby

Prior to co-founding GirlGeeks, Peter was Site Architect/Product Manager for, a pioneering Asian-American Web community and commerce site.

Peter honed his start-up management and media production skills as the founding Editor-in-Chief of magazines such as Los Angeles' Character, New York City's bi-lingual Merica, and Tokyo's Time Out. And, as the creator of the multi-media documentary Belly of the Dragon - Across China by Bike, he was Executive Producer, director and writer of its programs for National Geographic TV's Explorer and Monitor Radio's Early Edition

Peter's bachelor’s degree is in economics from Trinity College, with post-graduate studies in journalism (UCLA), in film and Chinese language (Beijing Film Academy), as well as in Japanese language (Kanazawa University).

Former GirlGeeks Staff (Partial list)

  • Jessica Donnelly, Website Executive Producer
  • Deb Garber, Chief Financial Officer
  • Merin Mathew, Web Designer
  • Solana Nolfo, Marketing Coordinator
  • Omar Pahati, Web Producer
  • Erica Wentworth, Web Producer
  • Natasha Zaslove, Director of Marketing

In addition, these other GirlGeeks employees and contractors made huge contributions: Ann Wilmott Andersson, Elizabeth Armstrong, Rina Ayuyang, Beth Cataldo, Erika Gentry, Hrappa Gunnarsdattin, Kate Reegan, Sarah Pyle, Suzanne Preston, Danielle Stevens and Beth Whitman.

Former Board of Directors

  • Carolyn Aver, CFO,
  • Peter S. Crosby, Co-founder, GirlGeeks
  • Kristine Hanna, CEO and Co-founder, GirlGeeks
  • Steve Moore, Microsoft Management Consultant

Former Advisory Board

  • Clayton Besch III, PhD, Director, International Business Development Japan/Korea, SOFTBANK
  • Elizabeth Daley, Dean, USC School of Cinema and Television
  • Esther Dyson, Chairman, Edventure Holdings; member, ICANN
  • Moira Gunn, Producer/Host, Public Radio's Tech Nation; MIT/NASA Scientist
  • Mary Furlong, Chairman, Third Age Media
  • Jon Landau, Producer of the feature film Titanic
  • Duncan Matteson, Chairman, Greater Bay BanCorp
  • Sari Miller, CFO, Financial Benefit Group, Division of AIG Insurance
  • Cristina Morgan, Managing Director and Co-director of Investment Banking, Chase H&Q
  • Carla S. Newell, General Counsel, Technology Crossover Ventures
  • Kim Polese, Chairman, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, Marimba
  • Jeanette Symons, Co-Founder/CTO, Zhone Technologies
  • Vici Wayne, Managing Director, Christian & Timbers

Selected Articles about

3.30.01 Silicon Valley Business Ink
GirlGeeks Breaks Stereotypes

3.8.01 TecTimes (Argentina)
Girl Geeks

11.30.00 Spiegel Online (Germany)
Role Models for Girl Wonders

11.17.00 BBC News
It's chic to be geek

11.07.00 Wired News
Girl Geeks Want to Be Heard

5.23.00 Digital Coast Daily
GirlGeeks Buff Up Online

5.1.00 People Magazine

3.1.00 AV Video Multimedia Producer
The Net Lives Club

2.3.00 Ms. Magazine

5.13.99 Washington Post
The Navigator -- Live Chat

11.9.98 San Jose Mercury News
GRRRL Power...

8.25.98 San Francisco Chronicle
'Geekapalooza' gets female take on techie labels...




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