Posted by Tom Foremski - April 19, 2010
Claire Cain Miller at the NYTimes reports: Why So Few Women in Silicon 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.
That disparity reaches beyond entrepreneurs. Women account for just 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, and 22 percent of the software engineers at tech companies over all, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. And among venture capitalists, the population of financiers who control the purse strings for a majority of tech start-ups, just 14 percent are women, the National Venture Capital Association says.
It's an old story and the article doesn't come up with anything new.
Not too long ago I asked Judy Estrin, one of our top serial entrepreneurs why there was a gender gap here:
Kay Koplovitz, the former head of USANetworks, has headed many successful companies. She called for more women entrepreneurs last year when she received an SDForum Visionary Award:
Adriana Gascoigne founded Girls in Tech to try and address the issue: Here is my interview with her:
"When women get together we can connect on a deeper level than if men are around," says Ms Gascoigne. "It helps to build confidence and it helps to create stronger relationships."
Men are allowed to some events such as dinners but they have to be a guest of a member.
A lot of women in tech tend to try to blend in, they dress in a similar manner to the men, and they behave in a similar way but this is a mistake she says.
"It is important to embrace feminity, to embrace girliness," says Ms Gascoigne. "Too many women think they need to be more like men to succeed. You don't."
Here is my interview with Telle Whitney, the head of the Anita Borg Institute, which is very focused on increasing the number of women in tech.
Ms Whitney said that when she worked in tech research she sometimes felt isolated as a woman. And that isolation sometimes leads to women leaving their company, or their profession, to go and do other things. The Anita Borg Institute wants to reverse that trend and raise the numbers of women in tech research.
Here is the Anita Borg Institute's: The 6 Attributes Of High Ranking Women In Tech
Here is Google's Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
And here is an excerpt from a story by Sand Hill Slave about life in the Silicon Valley VC gulag:
Ladies (and Gentlemen) Executive Assistants,
Do you have a boss that is a complete ass hat? Is he the type of guy you look at and say,"forget closing deals..this fool can't even close a door..."
I had one of those bosses. And with alarming frequency, he would go over his idiot minutes allotment for the week within the first 48 hours. My personal "Bend it for Beckham" fantasy was more likely to come true than this moron ever achieving "rollover" idiot minutes.
What was my damage with this guy?? He was constantly opening up attachments that CLEARLY had a virus and then would give me his laptop to deal with. He'd get the warning about it being a .vbs file but since he was "multitasking " on the phone and didn't pay attention to his screen, he'd go and click on the attachment. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Course of action: I stayed up late a few times over a period of 2 weeks until about 2am, went to work (yes, you read that correctly) and I subscribed his work email address to multiple hardcore gay porn sites for the "free pix of the day".
Read the rest of "Hardcore Pranks"
And here is my PearlTree that collects web sites about women in tech: