DoubleX is a new initiative led by Cunningham Collective to eliminate gender as an issue in the technology industry and just make it a fact. Innovation requires diverse perspectives and the female perspective adds value to product development.

Cunningham Collective held the first Double X panel on November 2, 2015.

Cunningham Collective's First DoubleX: Women of Influence Panel

On November 2, 2015 Cunningham Collective hosted its first DoubleX: Women of Influence panel discussion: “Limitless Leadership: The Powerful Women Who Worked with Steve Jobs.”  The event brought together 300 Bay Area leaders at SAP Labs in Palo Alto to hear the insights of five influential women who worked alongside Steve in the early years at Apple, NeXT and Pixar.   

Executives who helped make Apple's first major computer gather in Palo Alto, California, to talk about their experiences.   Photo by  James Martin/CNET

Executives who helped make Apple's first major computer gather in Palo Alto, California, to talk about their experiences. Photo by James Martin/CNET

The new Steve Jobs movie by Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle featured only a handful of the people behind the genius that was Steve Jobs. There were many others, and in fact quite a few women, who helped to bring Steve’s vision to the world. A great example of this is the lead influencer in the movie, Joanna Hoffman, as played by Kate Winslet. The panel explored what it was like to work with Steve, what made him great, and how the tech world can make strides to encourage future women leaders.

Moderated by Katie Hafner, a journalist who covered Apple and NeXT in the 1980s and 1990s, for BusinessWeek, Newsweek and The New York Times, the panel included:

  • Joanna Hoffman, a marketing leader and one of the original members of both the Apple Macintosh team and the NeXT team.
  • Susan Barnes, an alumna of Apple Inc, she was Controller of the Macintosh Division at Apple and later cofounded NeXT.
  • Barbara Koalkin Barza, the former product marketing manager for the Macintosh computer and later director of marketing at Pixar.
  • Debi Coleman, the second woman to join the original Macintosh team and the finance and operations chief at Macintosh and Apple for over a decade.
  • Andy Cunningham, founder of the marketing innovation consultancy Cunningham Collective and former publicist for Steve Jobs at Apple, NeXT and Pixar.

Some of the best quotes of the night included:

Working with Steve:

  • “So often Steve was so enthusiastic and so brilliant and visionary, and not necessarily reasonable. I found myself being the party pooper.”- Joanna Hoffman

  • “He was so focused on his agenda. He didn’t let anything get in the way.” - Andy Cunningham

Steve on Diversity

  • “We traveled with Steve, we spent a lot of hours with him, we never felt he treated women differently. When you are in a startup, there is so much work to be done, you are quickly looking at a meritocracy.”- Susan Barnes


  • “It’s very important [to have conflict]. You have to always foster an environment where people can stand up against the orthodoxy, otherwise you will never create anything new.” – Joanna Hoffman

Women in Technology

  • “I was working at Intuitive Surgical and walked by someone who had a big poster of Wondergirl, I said that makes women uncomfortable, take it out. If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.”- Susan Barnes

If Steve Jobs Were Here Today

  • “I can’t pretend to think about what he would think or be doing. Part of being a visionary is that you are unpredictable. This is a man that was one in a billion and touched the lives of billions.”- Joanna Hoffman

Changing the World

  • “We have the power to change more things than user interfaces and grid computing.”- Debi Coleman


Watch videos from the event:

Guy Kawasaki interviews Andy Cunningham

Guy Kawasaki interviews Joanna Hoffman

Panel Discussion: Leadership, Diversity, Steve Jobs

Quick Snapshot of the Event


Check out some of the press coverage and tweets from the event:

Macworld: What Joanna Hoffman told Kate Winslet while shooting the 'Steve Jobs' movie

Apple Insider: Steve Jobs promoted opportunities for women at Apple, NeXT

IEEE: Steve Jobs’ Real-World Leading Ladies Gather

PR Week: Cunningham organizes Steve Jobs panel

Re/Code: Women From Apple’s Early Days Recall Working With Steve Jobs

Silicon Beat: Female colleagues competed over standing up to Steve Jobs

CNET: Steve Jobs' legacy includes the women he inspired

Menlo College: Menlo College Trustee Andy Cunningham Portrayed in "Steve Jobs" Film

CNBC: Andy Talking About Apple's Success & Her Upcoming Panel of The Women Leaders Who Worked with Steve Jobs