Jen L. Cohen

Cues and Views

Women in tech mentor, board member and CEO/CTO Jen. L. Cohen, in brief.

Jen L. Cohen

Home: San Francisco, CA.  Age: 24, if you will believe me.  Birthplace: Massachusetts. Profession: Bridging technology and business.  Organization/Title: Lights On Advantage, CEO; 100% Capacity, Fractional CTO.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Alma mater: A life-long learner, achieved the C-Suite without a degree.

Current project: Consulting for boards and executive leadership on tech and business along with staring a nonprofit women amplification network helping mid-career women to connect and support one another.  Recent recognition: Appointed One Council, HFS Research’s advisory group.  Recent professional development: Thought Leadership Leverage.  Latest accomplishment: Staring my own business; before that, making CIO at Toyota Research Institute. Latest contribution to others: Mentoring women, in particular, women in technology.  What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Starting my own company after almost three decades working for others.  Hobbies: Ballroom dancing and rock climbing.  I do neither well, but both are fun.  Recent travel or adventure: Formula 1 at Red Bull Ring in Austria; Wadi Rum in Jordan; US Japan Council trip to Tokyo.  Last book read: The Innovation Mindset, by Jennifer Kenny.  Recently viewed and recommended: The Orville; Only Murders in the Building.  Recent unique acquisition: I’m loving the Maria Nicola necklaces.  Like Legos for grown-ups.

What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Generous (also, fast).  Moral compass: The Golden Rule; give more than you take.  How do you define a perfect friendship? Reciprocal, caring, filled with laughter.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Reciprocal, respectful, productive.  What is your guilty pleasure? Cheesy sci-fi or cozy murder mystery and some Taco Bell.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Scientists and teachers.  What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? Travel, books and shoes.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Adventure; African safari; helping ten companies in the next year to improve their tech and culture.  How do you relieve stress? A cup of tea and a cheesy sci-fi show.  What is your go-to workout? Walking Ocean Beach (San Francisco) at sunset.  

What was your first paying job? Computer operator for a subcontractor to Del Monte.  What was your favorite college course? History.  What book have you repeatedly read? Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Art from Cuba; art from my adult children.  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? Virgil Hedgecoth.  A brilliant inventor, businessman and family friend who gave me five dollars as a kid to start my fertilizer business selling my bunnies’ waste. What’s the best advice you received growing up? Treat others as you want to be treated. What’s the best advice you received in your career? Make sure your house is clean before assuming it is on someone else.  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? TCP/IP (yes, I am a nerd).  What is your favorite app? Kindle.  What is your go-to source of news and information? BBC News.  What company or organization do you most admire? 100% Capacity.  What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? Being a single mom.

What is your big idea?

It all comes down to people.  While tech and business need alignment and mutual support, they are nothing without the people.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? The recognition that every company is a tech company and needs to prepare for the next digital wave.  What change would you like to see in the world? That women, and especially women of color, are treated as full and equal human beings with all the requisite rights.  What widely held belief do you reject? Blindly following rules.  What mega-trend most excites you? The next digital wave.  What mega-trend most concerns you? Just the same.

As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? Inspired by Iron Eagle, a fighter pilot. After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? Pictures and critical documents.  A lesson learned from my parents, who lost their home in the 2017 fires. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? With my family, having a lovely meal and spending time at the ocean.  What advice would you give your younger self? Your success isn’t because you are so tough on yourself; rather, it’s from your hard work and how you connect with others.

Personal mission: Mentoring women; bridging the gap between people, tech and business. Personal motto: Give more than you take.  Favorite quote: “I will go anywhere, provided it be forward” (David Livingstone).

Create your own Cues and Views profile here!
Learn more
Other platforms for your story
whats happening now
In-Depth Personal Portraiture
Setting the Record straight