The recent news coming out of Silicon Valley is disturbing on many levels, but, unfortunately, not surprising. Women in the tech and startup space have and continue to face large wage gaps, harassment, discrimination and sexism. Here are some recent statistics:
- While 82 percent of men in startups believed their companies spent the “right amount of time” addressing diversity, nearly half of women—40 percent—disagreed, saying “not enough time was devoted.”
- In 2016, venture capitalists invested just $1.46 billion in women-led companies. Male-led companies earned $58.2 billion in investments.
- On average, women hold only one-third of the tech jobs in large tech companies like Intel and Microsoft. Within the same companies, minorities hold even a smaller share of the jobs, with Black women holding the third lowest percentage of jobs, averaging 5%.
- Women-led companies receive less than 5 percent of all venture capital funding
Change has been slow. But, the more these issues come up, especially when men are the ones sounding the alarm to their fellow CEO’s and VC’s, the faster the “bro culture” and toxicity will become a thing of the past. Chris Sacca’s recent statements are a start:
It’s the unrelenting, day-to-day culture of dismissiveness that creates a continually bleak environment for women and other underrepresented groups. I contributed to that, and am thus responsible for the unfairly harder road that everyone other than white men must travel in our industry.
Hopefully, more men in similar positions will follow Chris’ lead and become agents for real, lasting change. Plenty of women are addressing these issues. The solutions to the sexism are out there. We just need more people in positions of power listening and taking action.
Hera Hub CEO Felena Hanson and Dr. Silvia Mah, Founder of Hera Labs and Hera Fund, sat down recently to talk about the issues facing female entrepreneurs and VC’s.