Maybe that's not such a bad thing. Lots of innovation happens outside the loop, box, beltway, and valley.
Women own 40 percent of the private businesses in the United States, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research. But they create only 8 percent of the venture-backed tech start-ups, according to Astia, a nonprofit group that advises female entrepreneurs.
I work with a lot of tech start-ups and that means interaction with venture capitalists. However, these days many of the guys (and they're overwhelmingly white males) are so risk adverse that "venture capitalist" could be considered an oxymoron. One even actually said, "We look for reasons to NOT invest." (Well, okay...but your website touts your adventurous spirit - even uses the Shackleton expedition as a shining example of courageous venturing forth! [The fact the expedition was a tragic mess - we'll cover in another post someday, but I digress] Oops, oh that was just what the marketing person wrote...silly girl, me.)
It's incredibly difficult to get funding - even for male entrepreneurs. Women in high tech? Few and far between, for any number of reasons.
“It’s not like people are making an effort to exclude people, but I see very little diversity in the candidate pool,” says Aileen Lee, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the big venture capital firm. She says this could reflect the different educational paths men and women follow in high school and college: men, for a variety of reasons, are more likely to pursue computer science and engineering degrees and subsequently rise through start-up or management ranks.
'K. Point taken (and made all over the place, ad nauseum. "Math class is tough.") But you don't need an engineering degree to start a company or work in high-tech. (Really. Shhh...don't tell the colleges. And many VCs don't have engineering backgrounds.)
One big reason (in my not-so-humble opinion) there aren't more women seeking VC $ is lack of patience with testosterone-fueled posturing and big dog bloviating. We need to get moving! Get things done! Yes or No, Big Boy. Let's GO! (Oh. Joy. YOU want another Powerpoint presentation...sigh)
All entrepreneurs have to develop incredible patience as they make the rounds seeking capital. Answering the same (often dumb) questions over and over. Catering to the outsize egos. Submitting and re-submitting financial projections. Certainly, there are some smart, savvy VCs around, but like anything else - you've got to do some work to find the quality (and the right fit for you.)
So,where am I going with all this? Here's where.