Viewpoints (Tracy): Being a Women in Tech
We hear a lot about how frustrating it is for women in technology and business (i.e., the places to make serious income). There is no debate about that--or there shouldn't be! Women are still being paid less. Women aren't represented meaningfully on corporate boards and in the C-suite. But most egregiously, women only received 2.19% of venture capital dollars in 2016.
The good news is, women have stopped complaining, have stopped waiting for government to step in (the E.R.A. amendment was proposed in 1972), and have started to do something about it. Today, women are creating the best opportunities for women. They are from all age groups, all races and all backgrounds. There are NO barriers when women support women. We are turning the tide ourselves.
Thanks to other women, women entrepreneurs today have the best opportunities to create significant and successful businesses. Amazingly enough, as recently as 1987, women were not allowed to take out a loan without a male co-signer. Today, women starting businesses have tremendous resources, support and options. Women have created accelerator programs for women to refine their businesses and create “big ideas”: Kay Koplovitz’s Springboard, Janis Collins and Jennifer Gabler’s The Refinery, and Kathryn Finney’s BIG Accelerator. Mentors and community organizations like Allison Esposito’s Tech Ladies, Vanessa Dawson’s Vinetta Project and Yin Lin’s SheWorx help women find support, teammates and investors. Seed investor groups of women have been formed, such as Astia Angels, Gotham Gal Angels, and Pipeline Angels. And funds such as my 1843 Capital make venture capital investments in women-led companies.
The results are amazing. Today women are creating businesses at the rate of 1,200 per day. The number of technology startups has quadrupled over the last seven years. Women of all ages and ethnicities are creating great companies, many worth billions (houzz, Eventbrite, It Cosmetics to name a few). And in case you didn't notice, the entrepreneurs who started this very website are amazing women.
The tide is turning. We are doing it ourselves, we don’t need permission and now it is actually happening.
Tracy Killoren Chadwell is the Founding Partner of 1843 Capital, a venture capital fund that invests in technology companies with at least one female founder. 1843 is the year that Ada Lovelace Byron wrote what is credited to be the first computer program.