High-Performing Women in High Tech
“I’d never want a woman for a boss!” “Women are too competitive with each other!”
Unfortunately, these are old workplace stereotypes that I’d hoped had finally been laid to rest. Nevertheless, they were cited in a panel of female technology and internet entrepreneurs at Makovsky + Company on November 9 as among the images that today’s women have grown up with that have held many back. Still -- a glowing story was told in the outstanding track record that entrepreneurial women in technology and the internet have already achieved.
Makovsky sponsored the program, “Do Women Dominate the Web?” for Women 2.0, whose mission is to inform, inspire and educate a new generation of females that are entrepreneurial, innovative and successful. The panel was led by noted CNBC reporter Seema Mody. About 60 Women 2.0 members and guests attended.
“My generation of women knew they could be lawyers and doctors,” one panelist said, “but they did not even think about the possibility of starting a business.”
But things have been changing. One of the panelists pointed to a recent survey by Illuminate Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco, which studied high-tech female entrepreneurs over the past decade, and concluded that women are on the cusp of becoming a leading entrepreneurial force in technology. Among the findings:
• Organizations which are the most inclusive of women in top management achieve 35% higher ROE and 34% better total return to shareholders versus their peers.
• High-tech companies built by women are more capital efficient than the norm, with the average company achieving early year revenues using one-third less capital.
• Women-owned businesses are more likely than the average to survive the transition from raw start up to established company.
• Women-owned or -led tech firms are the fastest growing sector of new venture creation in the U.S.
• In the past 10 years more than 125 companies with over 200 women co-founders or officers have achieved IPOs of >$50 million M+A exits in the U.S. high-tech sector.
“We need more and more role models that are written up and talked about,” one of the panelists said. “We need to learn from each other and be mentors to others. My daughter feels she can be anything and do anything – even start a company! What a change!”