The lack of women leading Australia’s tech sector was blindingly obvious at Blackbird’s Sunrise startup event in Sydney on Friday.
All the speakers were guys, with one girl, Melanie Perkins from Canva, bravely waving the flag on a panel which was scheduled during lunch.
Looksmart founder Evan Thornley has done a great job highlighting how there needs to be more females in tech.
He used the slide below to show leadership on the issue.
Back when Thornley’s company listed on the NASDAQ it was one of the only ones which had a majority female senior management team.
“Call me opportunistic, I just thought I could get better people with less competition because we were willing to understand the skills and capabilities that many of these women had,” he said.
“There’s a great arbitrage there, we would give them more responsibility and a greater share of the rewards than they were likely to get anywhere else and that was still often relatively cheap to someone less good of a different gender.”
Thornley said women are “consistently” undervalued in the global labour market.
“I’m not advocating that that inequality should stay but I’m just saying there’s an opportunity for forward thinking people,” he said.
Here is the slide.