Women of Influence 2022: Kat Taylor

Silicon Valley Business Journal

By Michelle Boudit

  • Title: Founder
  • Company: TomKat Ranch/Growing The Table/TomKat MeDiA
  • Location: Pescadero

What is the biggest challenge facing women in leadership roles and how can you change that? There are not enough women in positions of power, especially in the systems I work in — ranching and finance. Women operate 62.7 million acres of farmland in the U.S. and control or influence 85% of consumer spending. That’s a tremendous amount of power to cultivate a more equitable and resilient society. Through our various initiatives, like Growing the Table, we prioritize diversity and optimization, which lead to better decision-making. I believe in putting more and different people in charge, especially women and Black and Brown women. More diversity at the leadership table leads to more and better accomplishments.

A moment in your career you are most proud of? My teams organized a statewide coalition and co-sponsored California’s historic School Meals For All. We’re making sure all 6.2 million K-12 students are fed two meals each school day, and many of those meals are freshly prepared and locally sourced from small-scale, regenerative farms owned by Black, Brown and Indigenous farmers.

We also started Growing the Table to help struggling farmers throughout California who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, women, and LGBTQ+, especially those practicing organic or regenerative agriculture, to achieve economic security.

Since 2020, we raised and disbursed over $2.2 million to more than 430 small-scale California farmers, so they can feed under-resourced families. So far, the project has given away more than 860,000 pounds of fresh produce. Hunger isn’t going away any time soon, so this work continues through 2022.

As a business owner, what did you learn about yourself? It’s not about “me,” it’s about “we.” If we can harness more people’s mental energy and imagination, we can make positive changes and create better institutions.

Something about you that would surprise others? I sing specially written lyrics from well-known songs at meetings. It takes everyone off edge, which makes for better conservation.

You can find the original story here. 

Editor’s note: This is an interview with one of the outstanding Silicon Valley professionals selected to be in the 2022 class of Women of Influence.