Though many people say that outright sexism is rare in the tech world these days, as the New York Times reports this weekend, in a really long feature that we are jealous we didn’t get to write, the reality for women in Silicon Valley would show otherwise. The highlights:
- A woman in tech, with degrees from Stanford and Harvard, will still be told her business cards should read “Mom,” get shown naked pictures by potential investors, and asked if her husband’s libido is affected by his biking hobby.
- Women may own 40 percent of the private businesses in the United States, but they create only 8 percent of the venture-backed tech start-ups. We also account for just 6 percent of the CEOS at the top 100 tech companies, and 22 percent of the software engineers at tech companies overall.
- Since an overwhelming majority of venture capitalists are men and have gotten to the firms via start-ups or business schools—both places where women are underrepresented—women have a harder time gaining access to the Valley’s boys club.
Man. All of that is depressing—especially, as the Times points out, at a time when women outnumber men at elite colleges, law schools, medical schools and in the overall workforce. And, as we’ve often pointed out, it’s more than just social equity that’s at stake. The Times writes:
Research indicates that investing in women as tech entrepreneurs is good for the bottom line. (Us: You don’t say!) Venture-backed start-ups run by women use, on average, 40 percent less capital than start-ups run by men and are increasingly involved in successful initial public offerings of stock.
So, in the last few weeks we’ve seen coverage on the dearth of women in media (both print and radio) and now technology. What’s next? Who’s going to take on law? Corporations? Academia? Cause we all know that when we scratch the surface in all these fields, we’ll find the same issues at play.