Why we need more women in tech. Or not.

Guy Kawasaki, former CMO of Apple, notorious #WiseGuy and top keynote speaker hosted a talk on (the lack of) women entrepreneurs together with Karen Cahn and Symone Sanders. What started off as a lively cheer to get more women entrepreneurs and what’s needed to catalyse that, quickly escalated in a discussion on competences, gene pools and white men.

photo credit – bizjournals.com

“There’s a fundamental systemic issue when growing a business as a woman as the funding just isn’t there to help [women] off the ground. The reason why is that the people that control the money are white men. As people are tribalistic by nature, people trust people that look like themselves. When the wealth is controlled by one group, the decisions on where to invest the money tend to go with the people that look like them. […] And the access happens on the golf course.

Karen Cahn

There’s a lot to be said on the above quote, but what strikes me most is the blatant short-visioned approach. By stating bluntly that [men] should do more to empower women entrepreneurs, the value of these same women is underestimated x-fold.

Any venture capitalist will be completely averse to wiping out half of the entire genetic pool by (consciously or subconsciously) only funding white men. The investment thesis is never “We’re gonna fund men”. Hence, the root cause is not a gender issue.

Guy Kawasaki

Regardless of gender, you need to have a product that people want to use and buy. In doing so, funding and revenue will follow. And yes, we’re convinced some women today are hesitant to take the steps needed.

So, especially today on International Women’s Day, a shout out to all the women out there kicking ass day in day out. Kudos to all of you. And even more kudos to all the women who’ll step up tomorrow. We love you all.

If nobody wants to throw a party for you, you have to be willing to throw a party for yourself.

Symone Sanders

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