Addressing The Lack Of Women Leading Tech Start-Ups
Wall Street Journal: Where are all the women in the start-up sector? According to data from the Dow Jones VentureSource, in 2009, only11% of U.S. firms with venture-capital backing had current or former female CEO's or founders. More media coverage of successful women entrepreneurs, role models, and women on panels at conferences could help to shift the gender dynamic in an area where the "good idea is supposed to trump social status."
"Only about 11% of U.S. firms with venture-capital backing in 2009 had current or former female CEOs or female founders, according to data from Dow Jones VentureSource. The prestigious start-up incubator Y Combinator has had just 14 female founders among the 208 firms it has funded. The “where-are-all-the-women” meme is a familiar one, and not confined to the technology world. But in start-up land, where the good idea is supposed to trump social status and everything else, the lack of women in positions of authority stands out. There is no shortageof opinionsabout the cause, but regardless, some techie women are – in true start-up fashion – attacking the problem with meetups, money and social networking.
Start-up executive Dina Kaplan and Gilt Groupe CEO Susan Lyne and the Paley Center for Media CEO Pat Mitchell run a group – which they call the “Breakfast Club” — of young and established tech and digital media executives who meet for professional networking, social support and swapping practical advice about running young digital companies.
Another group called “Change the Ratio” aims to shine a light on women in entrepreneurial roles, and to address the dearth of women at start-ups. Technology investors Fred Wilson and John Borthwick said the industry needs catalysts to spark a virtuous circle of more successful women-led tech start-ups leading to more women in tech start-ups.
“From successes come role models and from the role models come change,” said Union Square Ventures’ Mr. Wilson, who recently called for more diversity in the start-up world."