Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dearth of women entrepreneurs in Technology

Vivek Wadhwa authored an excellent article in Business Week today titled "Addressing the dearth of female entrepreneurs"

While I do agree that one explanation for the phenomenon is that it's a supply issue, I am not convinced that it's the sole explanation. As an engineer, an entrepreneur and a woman, this is a topic very close to my heart and therefore also happens to be the topic of my thesis. I am working on collecting data about how many technology companies with female founders or CEO/CTO/COOs were funded in the last 4 years, and how that number compares to the number of companies which were founded by male entrepreneurs.

I am also speaking with a number of VCs who have been pitched by both men and women and taking notes about their observations. Some of what I heard took me by surprise. For instance, some women who pitch a VC do not get funded because they come across as being over-confident and not genuine! I was under the impression that many women suffered from the opposite - not as assertive or outspoken, and erring on the side of caution! I am not sure if this is a function of the fact that women who do found tech. start-ups have a different mindset and self-select into entrepreneurship, or if there's an observer bias, or if there is a stereotype bias here! What do you think?


I expect to finish my thesis in May 2010, and will write a follow-up post describing my findings. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Squishy said...

Hello! Fascinating post, especially since I had just read a similar post about women in a 'man's' world by Vanessa Miemis: http://emergentbydesign.com/2010/01/21/how-to-be-a-woman-in-a-mans-world/

Maybe be some good info in there for your thesis. Good luck!