Superbwoman Jeanne Sullivan: Rewiring & Refiring

This article highlights a "Superbwoman®", and is based on live interviews shown via the webshow, Superbwoman Sundays at 7. To see the original show, go to

Sometimes the best things come in small packages. Jeanne Sullivan is living proof of that! There is more positive energy and natural curiosity packed into her barely 5 foot frame than one would have a right to expect. Jeanne is a passionate advocate for women in all aspects of business and uses her intelligence, wit and verve to do what she can to advance the cause. Here is what she had to say about her life as a "Superbwoman&reg":

How did she get from where she began to where she is now?
As Jeanne puts it, "It's all about finding your passion - and then leveraging it to create more happiness." As a child, Jeanne was drawn to science and was entering science fairs long before there was a STEM movement. She learned early how to leverage her "inner geek", working at Bell Labs and becoming an early adopter of all types of technology. As someone who has had an email address since the early 1980s, she cringes when someone looks at her and assumes she knows nothing about social media.

Jeanne's second passion became the world of venture capital. She likes to say that someone opened the door for her to enter and she walked right in. Being early in the tech bubble afforded her the opportunity to "see the best of the best and the stupidest of the stupid." She was a founding partner in StarVest Partners, a venture capital firm who invested in over 100 growth stage companies.

Today Jeanne has begun to focus her next passion: gender bias. She recently learned that although women make up over half of the world's populations and make over 85% of the household decisions, this does not translate into executive decision-making roles within corporations. She points out that "women have multiple trillions of dollars of wealth under their own management, accumulated through earnings and inheritance. Imagine how we could increase wealth and provide economic benefits by investing this money in women entrepreneurs and other women-supported ventures!"

Who influenced her?
As the eldest of 8 children in a loving Italian family, Jeanne was told that she could do anything - and she believed it! Doors were opened to her along her path by a woman CEO who promoted and supported her, and by her female partners in StarVest who supported each other. She believes women benefit by surrounding themselves with a personal "Board of Directors".

Superbwomen have realized that "shoulds" contain the guilt we often feel. What is one "should" Jeanne has learned to release?

"I like being a bad-ass girl," Jeanne says. She has let go of the "should" of being demure and yielding to others. "It is easier to be silent in a toxic situation," she notes. "But I have found my voice and have learned to push back." She notes that using humor has been key in getting past the conflict and moving towards successful resolution. Jeanne has shared this insight in her TED talk entitled "Master the minefield - dealing with bullies, bozos & buffoons"

At this time, Jeanne has "rolled off" of StarVest and has started her own consulting company, Sullivan Adventures. "I don't like the "R" word (retire)," she noted. "Instead I'm all about re-wire, re-fire!"

Jeanne Sullivan - a true Superbwoman!
To contact Jeanne, follow her on Twitter at @Gianna212