You missed a big nasty debate over the weekend about the extremely low number of women entrepreneurs and what’s being done to change it.
It all started when the Wall Street Journal’s Shira Ovide published a Friday editorial headlined “Addressing The Lack of Women Leading Tech Start-ups.”
According to Ovide, “only about 11% of U.S. firms with venture-capital backing in 2009 had current or former female CEOs or female founders.”
She wrote, “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.”
She quoted Fred Wilson’s solution: “The industry needs catalysts to start a virtuous circle of more successful women-led tech start-ups leading to more women in tech-startups.”
“The next time you women want to start pointing the finger at me when discussing the problem of too few women in tech, just stop. Look in the mirror. And realise this – there are women like [Rachel] Sklar who complain about how there are too few women in tech, and then there are women just who go out and start companies. Let’s have less of the former and more of the latter, please.”
Like Arrington, some couple authors and entrepreneurs also argue it’s women that are holding women back.
Arrington mentions a conversation with Cyan Banister, co-founder of Zivity: “Women [stink] as entrepreneurs a lot of the time because they are nurturing and not risk-taking enough by nature…When men roll the dice and take risks, society doesn’t punish them at all, and it’s in their nature to take stupid risks.”
Catherine Kaputa, author of The Female Brand: Using the Female Mindset to Succeed in Business, writes:
“Men are much more likely to help anyone, even someone they barely know,” Kaputa says. “Women think they need to know someone fairly well in order to help them so women don’t have as many contacts as men. That’s a weakness in business.”
Phyllis Chesler, author of Women Inhumanity To Women, writes:
“Women told me how difficult it is to work for another woman and how women on the job often compete in underhanded or backstabbing ways. Women rarely admitted that they themselves are harder on women than on men, that they hold higher and different standards for women than they do for men, and that they often never forgive each other [for things they] routinely forgive men [for].”
Another possible reason for the lack of women in tech?
We’re currently witnessing the first generation of women entrepreneurs, so naturally the growth will take some time.
In an article from Microsoft Business, Joanna L. Krotz, writes:
“We’re now experiencing the first generation or so of widespread success for women-owned businesses. That means the been-there/done-that part of the mentor equation isn’t as deep or wide for women as it is for men. That holds true for mentors and entrepreneurs alike.”
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