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State of the Startup:Women in Tech@jessicalawrence
This is a bra. And I start with this for a number of reasons. The bra has long been a symbol -even if it’s been a misconstrued and inaccurate symbol - of the feminist movement. This isthe symbol of the elephant in the room every time we have conversations about the status ofwomen. It tends to derail conversations and sometimes cause people to tune out. For tworeasons: one, there are a lot of people who don’t believe that this is a conversation that westill need to have. Yup, women earn more Bachelor’s Degrees then men. And yep, we’ve gotthe right to vote. But take one look around any tech event, and you’ll catch a glimpse into whywe still need to have this conversation. The other reason is that it feels like anytime aconversation is about women in an industry it gets shifted to a conversion about feminism.And not feminism as it is meant to be interpreted and understood - but as the man-hating,bra-burning sensationalized feminism that makes people feel that women are claimingentitlement and sometimes even superiority based their chromosomes.
$12 BillionSo let’s get past bras, unless we’re going to talk about them in business. Which by the way isa $12 billion dollar business. And that brings me to what this conversation is about - it’sabout business and how understanding the tech industry, making smart decisions within thetech industry - requires understanding the role that women play.
% $ ?To understand the current state of women in tech, we need to look at three things:1. How many women are involved in tech and what they’re building2. What funding looks like for female-founded startups3. And then why - why things might be the way we are - what is the environment that womenare functioning in and why it matters that we change them
The percent of women on 56% of Facebook’s users are women. Facebook’s board? 0%And as we look at what happen’s when companies grow up...we start seeing the samedisparate ratios reﬂected in their boards of directors.
Alright, so even if we are still looking at huge disparities in the percentage of women buildingthings...there are still a lot of women out there building things...so what are they building?
If you’re like most people, you will probably guess that they are building a company in one ofthese categories.
Shopping. Fashion. Beauty. This is often called the Pink Ghetto
In 546 female-founded tech companies, the top industries that the womenfounders are focusing on are: 1. TECHNOLOGY — 74 startups including CloudFlare, GeoMagic, HarQen, Ning, Sense Networks,Six Apart. 2. BUSINESS — 71 startups including Candid Capture, ConsumerBell, ContactKarma, IndieGoGo,Minted, Quantum Retail Technology. 3. MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT — 71 startups including Blip.tv, BlogHer, Ground Report, Hufﬁngton Post, MingleMedia TV, 6Waves LolApps.http://www.women2.com/challenging-the-pink-ghetto-women-start-more-tech-companies/
Retail: Fashion: Beauty: $4.7 Trillion $199 Billion $330 BillionBut the Pink Ghetto is big business
$So let’s take a look now at funding - both from the perspective of what women get and howfemale-led companies perform
Male-owned businesses receive 95% of VC funding awarded.http://onlinemba.unc.edu/mba-at-unc-blog/women-at-work-infographic/
Only between 3% and 5% of women-owned businesses receive venture capital Only 10% of venture capitalists are women Women are just 12% of all angel investors http://onlinemba.unc.edu/mba-at-unc-blog/women-at-work-infographic/Top stat: vs. 26.1% of male owned businesses
“ As a group they (women-led Fortune 500 companies) outperformed the overall market–companies dominated by male chief executives–by 28%, on average, and topped their respective industries by 15% [in 2010]. ”http://community.nasdaq.com/News/2011-11/girl-power-list-of-companies-with-female-ceos.aspx?storyid=101171#ixzz1xi6JrlR2
STEMWomen have a long history of not being involved in STEM careers. There are many long-standing societal reasons for this.
The tech industry has been an almost single-sex industry for a long time, which hassigniﬁcant implications.
But that shouldn’t be used as an ongoing excuse.
Golden Gate Ruby Conference: Matt Aimonetti’s talk “CouchDB + Ruby: Perform Like a Pr0n Star.”
Lawsuit by Ellen Pao - Kleiner PerkinsWomen usually won’t talk on the record about the experiences they haveWhat is the truth?
Paige Craig, Good AngelMale VC opening up a conversations about concerns about funding women
“ Women feel less comfortable in engineering than men, and lack the “professional role conﬁdence” that male engineers seem to acquire easily. ” - From a study by MIT social scientist Susan Silbey#1 reason there aren’t more women involved in tech isn’t work/life balance - it’s this: