I saw a post about women in startups and tech over on TechCrunch Europe, written by Eileen Burbidge (@eileentso), and I really liked her angle!
We all know the stats…
So I’m not going to bore you with them here. The reality is, there are not very many women who are starting and running tech based startups and there few women inside of VC’s that are funding startups.
Before I get going… let me clarify one thing…
I think having a group of cool women to talk to, get advice from, and hear stories from is extremely useful and awesome! Mentoring other women and inspiring other women to try this… it’s part of my mission as a business owner!! So please don’t misread what I’ve said below.
Okay, so, on with it!
Women need to stand up and do it…
Over the years, I’ve talked about doing my own thing a lot. About starting a company, about coming up with an idea that would be worth leaping out of the security of a full time job, about building something out of nothing. But you know what, talk does nothing… it’s all about ACTION.
The day I picked up the phone and made a big call, well, I’ll never forget that day. It’s the day I looked my own fear in the face and decided to move something forward rather than just talk about it. That call was the little push of positive feedback I needed, and it is the day that it all changed.
We may be surrounded by men…
Here’s the thing about being a woman in this industry. You may, and most likely will be, surrounded by men. When you’re in meetings, at conferences, at trade shows. Many of them have been influential people in my career and have helped me navigate the corporate waters. I’ve had men as respected colleagues, mentors and friends over the years, and they are some of the strongest supporters of more women coming into the space.
My trusted advisors, 75% men. It’s a reality, and I’m fine with it. I have strong women around me too. The key for me in choosing who to be surrounded with has not been whether they are a man or a woman. It has been:
- Are they a person I respect in this space?
- Are they someone I like working with?
- Are they someone who knows more about a subject than I do?
- Are they someone who will challenge my business because they want it to be better?
It is that simple… and it has provided me with an amazing, diverse and fun group!
Am I naive??
In one word, no. I know the world out there is not perfect. I know that there are still people and organizations out there who don’t believe a woman can hold her own in the business. I also know that this has become much more the minority than the majority (thankfully!!).
When I talk to my Mom, a woman who got her doctorate in Mathematics in the late 60’s, while working at IBM as a Main Frame Engineer, I am reminded how good we have it. Ladies… we have a lot to be thankful for. The world is a different place, and while the stats may not show a lot of growth on paper, the mentality has definitely shifted.
So, I say we get going!
It’s time to stand up and move forward and make it happen. So, who’s with me??