The Risk-Taking Edge of West Coast Women

By Pamela Ryckman
The New York Times
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When Deborah Perry Piscione moved to Silicon Valley after a career in media and foreign relations on the East Coast, it wasn’t the weather or wealth that amazed her. It was the women.

“Back east, my whole network was men,” she said, “but here there’s this big group of incredible, fearless women. They rise a lot more quickly in their careers, and they support each other. They’ve made their own money and they take risks. There’s such a disconnect between the two coasts.”

On the West Coast, Ms. Perry Piscione made contacts through a series of influential women and, within 18 months of her arrival, raised $5 million from a single female investor to become co-founder of a production company, Desha Productions, and its accompanying Web site,, an online magazine for women.

Ms. Perry Piscione sees West Coast businesswomen opening their Rolodexes and, perhaps more important, their wallets for one another, and she says she believes their East Coast counterparts have something to learn. “There are all of these women who made tons of money and now are not doing anything with it,” she said. East Coast women may have attended top business schools and reached the apex of corporate America, but Ms. Perry Piscione said, “they’re not making their mark.” They are losing relevance, she said, in the “new economy.”