About Watermark

Why Watermark

Watermark’s mission is to empower women to make their mark in their companies, careers and communities. 

We connect, develop and advocate for the advancement of women in the workplace.

We are the largest women’s membership organization in the Bay Area, representing hundreds of Bay Area-based senior executives and entrepreneurs and emerging executives, so we not only support you at the top of your field, but we also support you on your way up.

In between jobs or looking for something new? We can support you there, too, with great connections, resources, job leads and resume reviews, plus great advice from our member career coaches. 

Where other groups focus on a single job function or industry, Watermark’s membership is the most diverse and most connected that a networking organization can offer – we are the only group open to members representing all fields and functions. 

Because members make connections with a broad cross-section of influential executives and emerging executives, you establish bigger networks and pursue greater opportunities for success.

We plan and host at least 50 events a year, including our Watermark Conference for Women Silicon Valley (our inaugural event featured Hillary Clinton, Brené Brown and Diane von Furstenberg), Innovation Conference, Leadership Conference and Entrepreneur Conference. 

We deliver comprehensive programming targeted for each point in our members’ careers. Regardless of where you are on your career path, Watermark programs take you to the next level. Our programs cover:

- Personal branding
- Setting goals and achieving them
Networking and mentoring
Organizational skills
Diversity, equity and inclusion

Our reach is global, through live-streamed and on-demand programming and through our newsletter subscriber list of more than 21,000.

We are the only women’s membership organization that delivers customized leadership development programs for companies, onsite at your office and on-demand for your global teams.

Ericsson, Oracle, VMware, Intel, NetApp and Juniper Networks are among the many companies that depend on Watermark to foster the development of their female talent, customers and partners.

As a Watermark sponsor, you'll see a boost in your brand image as you become known for investing in diversity. You participate in a collaborative community and, as a result, often secure new business opportunities.

We support the next generation of leaders by investing in girls’ leadership programs.

Our full-time professional staff is dedicated to serving the needs of our members and sponsors.

The Watermark Method

Watermark has been a catalyst for change for more than 25 years. Through Watermark, you make the connections that lead to the growth of your businesses, learn valuable leadership skills that lead to promotions, and find a community that supports you, educates you and shares your wisdom.

You plug in.
When Watermark women connect, you create opportunities, solve problems and forge friendships. You benefit – and so does your company.
You grow.
Watermark women never stop learning. That's how you keep innovation and success continuously flowing into your job performance and your life.
You amplify influence.
Watermark works toward the next quantum leap in your individual – and your company's – success

• C-Suite Networks

• Emerging Executives

• Watermark Entrepreneurs

• Women Like Us (WLU) Networks

• Conference for Women

• Entrepreneur Conference

• Innovation Conference

• Leadership Conference

• Speaker Series

• Webinar Series

• Watermark Institute Board Access

• Make Your Mark Awards

• Girls' leadership programs

  Watermark women:
Plug in here.
Watermark women:
Never stop growing.
Watermark women:
Power up.

Our Impact

We want to see more women as successful executives and entrepreneurs, and we want to see more women in the C-suite, in the boardroom and in any other position that you're striving to reach in your career. We know that the best way to get there is by polishing your leadership skills, sharing networks and resources, and celebrating one another’s success. Many sponsors have enhanced or replaced their own development and retention programs with Watermark programs. Watermark sponsors are often invited to speak at our events as well as events hosted by our colleagues. All of our Watermark sponsorships are customized and tailored to ensure maximum benefit.

Our Future Membership

We’ve heard enough from companies that say they can’t find qualified women to fill their executive spots. Our current membership is filled with qualified women – and we are committed to preparing the next generation of female leaders for a future of success. We do that by supporting leadership programs that introduce girls and young women to education and careers in areas they may not have considered before.

What Our Members Say

There’s no better way to describe Watermark than through the words of our members and sponsors. Here are a few of our favorites – for more, visit our Member Testimonials page.

“Attending any Watermark event is always energizing and inspirational for me – it’s a place to compare stories, benchmark experiences with peers and share progress, challenges and results – all in a relaxing and fun environment. Because Watermark’s home is in Silicon Valley, I stay in touch with best practices and innovative trends in the most exciting business community in the world, and I always come away with creative solutions to challenges and with a new awareness of important business trends in the market.”

– Lynne Born, Partner, Chief Operating Officer, Seiler

“Watermark enables me to establish trusted relationships that I turn to many times to help source resources, solve business challenges and bounce ideas off as I crystallize my thinking. Watermark also gives me the platform to pay it forward.”

– Shellye Archambeau, Former Chief Executive Officer, MetricStream

“After spending a year (and far more money) involved with a different women’s organization, I'm convinced that Watermark is by far the leader in supporting and encouraging women in Silicon Valley. And well worth the cost.”

– Sandy Holder, CEO, InSight Business Advisors

"We live in a world where disruption seems to be everywhere. And in the midst of this disruption are people and organizations that inspire and lead the way towards making the right kind of difference. Since its inception, Watermark has been such an organization. Its impact on our community of women and the professional world has been profound, consistent and lasting."

– Julie Brush, Founding Partner, Solutus Legal Search

“Watermark has provided our women leaders at Xilinx with the tools they require and support they need to realize their full potential and to be successful.”

– Marilyn Stiborek Meyer, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Xilinx

“I reconnected with colleagues and other executives at Watermark when I rejoined the organization earlier this year. Attending the events and meeting other members led directly to my new role as COO for Basecamp. Thank you, Watermark!”

– Mercedes De Luca, COO, Basecamp

“I cannot overstate the impact of the Watermark network. It provides me with valuable resources and invaluable contacts. It is hard to overstate the friendship, camaraderie and fun times. But then I think about the support and advice from the network and the educational sessions. The celebrations of women's achievements and our member's successes. The opportunity to reach out to more women and support their career and give them the confidence to break through glass ceilings and work to their potential. There is a tremendous joy in being part of such a network.”

– Hannah Kain, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, ALOM

"Watermark allows me to bring my whole self. I am a better leader as a result of the Watermark development programs that I participate in. I am a better sponsor for those seeking mentorship and connections. I am better person because I am able to advocate and make an impact in my community."

– Merline Saintil, Head of Operations, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Intuit

“Thanks to Watermark and Ericsson, I have had the opportunity to attend speaking events and workshops that constantly expose me to other professionals who provide career advice and leadership tips.”

– Donna Flores, Internal Communications Specialist, Ericsson

“Watermark programs are filled with terrific content that address so many issues we encounter in our professional lives. I always learn something new and come away energized and inspired.”

– Charlie Campbell, Wealth Advisor, Portfolio Manager and Account Vice President, UBS

“The value of Watermark goes so far beyond the overused word ‘network.’ Watermark events and programs have changed my perspective and helped me grow my business. Watermark members connect me to valuable resources, clients and new ways of innovating within my industry. This organization, and the relationships I have formed as a result of my participation, very simply improves my ability to be successful in both my work and my life.” 

– Cindy Solomon, Chief Executive Officer, Solomon and Associates

“The Board Access Program changed my mindset from operational and executional leadership to providing oversight and strategic guidance. It's what prepared me to serve on the Rosetta Stone board of directors.”

– Caroline Tsay, Vice President & General Manager, HP Software, HP

"I have developed lasting, remarkable relationships through my years with Watermark. We come together with a common goal and aspiration to be advocates for women to champion their talents, interests, goals and their dreams."

– Mary Ann Bianco, Chief Customer Officer, Uniphore

Our History

In 1993, an extremely bright young Stanford MBA student pondered two questions: Why were there so few female entrepreneurs? And why were those few unable to connect with venture capital in Silicon Valley?

That student was Jennifer Gill Roberts, and her questions led to the forming of a groundbreaking nonprofit called the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. Jennifer partnered with fellow Stanford MBA student Denise Brosseau to connect female entrepreneurs seeking to build and scale venture-funded businesses.

“We weren’t quite sure how many people would attend our first gathering, but to our surprise and delight, it ended up being standing-room only,” Denise recalls. “We quickly discovered that there were a lot of women hungering for this kind of organization.”

And 25 year later, we still are.