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GirlGeek of the Week
November 1999

Sue Levin

Sue Levin

I became interested in computers when I was in grad school in the mid-80s. During a summer internship in New York City I was supposed to be doing marketing activities but got fascinated with this PC they bought. They were clueless and had me set the system up. I loved it but truly I never thought I'd explore a career in the high tech industry.

After graduating in 1985 I moved from North Carolina to San Francisco. While looking for a "real job" (e.g. banking -- for some weird reason I thought MBAs were supposed to go into banking) I found what I thought was a temp job in the software industry. Well, as the story goes, that "temp" job ended up lasting oh...about nine years. The job started out as a sales gig, but I moved into marketing and then a few years later was promoted to Vice President of Marketing. The company was then purchased by Digital Equipment Corporation in 1992. In 1994 DEC sold us to a competitor. They dismantled the organization and laid everyone off.

I did some pretty serious thinking, consulted for a year, and then decided to start a business with a woman that I had worked with previously--Kathleen McMahon. Kathleen wanted Web and I wanted something with a female focus. We fired up the modem (this was October 1995) to see what the Web had to offer women.

We thought we'd find a directory or a part of Yahoo specifically for women but didn't. So we decided to do that-put together an exhaustive directory of all things female online. And we decided to call it WWWomen (as in World Wide Women). We grabbed the URL that day.

When did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers and technology?

During my internship at that PR firm in NYC. I really dug their system and wanted to just play with it most of the time!

How do you earn a living?

I am President and Co-Founder of WWWomen, Inc., a leading San Francisco based Internet company focused on developing and representing female focused Websites to advertisers wishing to target women online. WWWomen operates WWWomen.Com, BannerWomen.Com and HerAgency.Com. I'm also President of Women In Multimedia, a non-profit volunteer organization based in San Francisco.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

Not really. I am probably stereotypically female in that I love what technology can do. But technology for technology's sake is not that big of a turn-on for me.

What is your favorite Website?

Well...okay...I'm biased but I am fascinated by our first site, WWWomen ( What fascinates me most, actually, is a very active community that not only "talks" for hours each day on our message boards but these women convene face to face throughout the world! They are planning a WWWomen Tribal Rally (that's what they call them) in October of 2000 where all of them are getting together.

The way the women's community has grown and evolved online has been not only intensely interesting to observe but also it's been super rewarding to see how we've helped to enhance women's lives by giving them a place to connect. It sounds corny but I'll tell yah, it's TRUE!

What do you do when you are not working?

Plenty! Let's see... I just bought a new house in Oakland that I'm in love with. It's a 1913 Craftsman and it ROCKS!!! So I'll probably get into all that home owner stuff soon.

I love to run trails in the Marin Headlands and now in Redwood Park in Oakland. I love to swim--I swim probably four times a week. I like hiking with friends.

Oh, and I love to write. It's actually part of our biz now but I write a weekly cyberadvice column for women called The Virtual Woman. Tribune picked it up for syndication a few weeks ago (I am thrilled---they get 100 submissions a week for people wanting them to syndicate their writing and pick about 10 per year)!


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