The Persistence Brings Executive Programs, Community and an API to Impactful Women Leaders in Tech

Basis Set Ventures
3 min readFeb 23, 2021


by Lan Xuezhao and Rhonda Allen, on behalf of Basis Set Ventures, and /dev/color

Communities of support are essential for women working in tech. The growth of organizations like Women in Product and All Raise over the last few years have amplified the voices of women from product teams to boardrooms. Building on this work, we are launching The Persistence publicly today, after being in stealth mode for years.

The Persistence is a community that strengthens connections between women leaders across a diverse set of senior roles comprised of founders and executives across the tech industry. The group was founded by some of the most impactful women in tech. And, as we grow, we’re excited to team up with /dev/color, one of the most powerful networks of Black software engineers.

Our collaboration with /dev/color is an intentional step to support and amplify Black women within and beyond The Persistence. Only 4.7% of senior-level managers at S&P 500 companies are women of color, and the statistics don’t look much better within the tech industry. We are committed to building community and increasing access for women — change is long overdue.

Leaders of The Persistence include Niniane Wang, the former VP of Engineering at Niantic, Claire Hough, CTO of Carbon Health and Jenny He, founder and CEO of Ergeon, along with partners at Basis Set Ventures and /dev/color. Our objective is to ensure women operators and executives have the access, skills, and networks needed to decisively act and seize opportunities to lead industry-wide change.

The Persistence is providing an invitation-only executive leadership program for a small cohort of mostly founders and C-level executives. Over the course of a yearlong executive leadership program, participants will have the fully-paid opportunity alongside a cohort of talented peers, made possible by partners.

Members have access to advice from experienced leadership coaches in tech. Katherine Agostino of Silicon Valley Executive Coaching will lead our first year-long program. Carole Robin, instructor for Stanford Graduate School of Business’ most popular elective class, Touchy Feely, will also share insights on how to best connect with others.

One of the most unique attributes of The Persistence is camaraderie and openness of the community. Amidst Covid-19, we have convened remotely in small groups to reflect on macro events and discuss day-to-day blockers.

Given the technical background of many of the group’s members, we’re placing a special emphasis on the role technology and automation play in amplifying the impact of the organization’s work. A team of data scientists and engineers are rapidly building tools, starting with an API that connects the /dev/color network with investors and leading tech companies to accelerate Black engineers’ impact.

We are optimizing for the strength of relationships between members and prioritizing experience ahead of expansion. We are accepting new members via application and look forward to multiplying our impact — together.

Reach out to if you have questions or would like to support The Persistence.

Lan Xuezhao is the founding and managing partner of Basis Set Ventures, an early-stage venture firm investing in founders fundamentally transforming the way people work.

Rhonda Allen is CEO of /dev/color which equips Black software engineers with an unparalleled community of support, accountability, and professional development to shape the future as industry leaders.



Basis Set Ventures

We invest in companies that harness the opportunities for artificial intelligence (AI) to improve our work lives