Mark Suster is a partner at the VC firm GRP Partners, and has a blog that I follow. His most recent post is a collection of links and thoughts on why there aren’t more female entrepreneurs, and it included a link to a series of interviews that Pemo Theodore did with VCs and women founders on the topic. This is 9 minute quick overview of many more in-depth videos, which gives a great range of opinions and perspectives.
I think some of the major themes and points brought up are applicable not only to why women are funded less than men, but why women are more hesitant to start their own companies or be the one leading a team/organization.
- If you are too assertive, you are ‘bitchy’. If you are too soft, you don’t get ahead.
- Women are less likely to embrace who they are, and more often worry about what others think
- Men are more bull-headed, want to one-up one another, and come across as knowing what they are talking about (even whey they are really just making things up on the fly)
- Women aren’t as confident in delivery, even if they are better prepared (and worked harder leading up to that point)
I think for women overcome these natural tendencies (and I have them too!) is to help them recognize when they are falling for them in meetings, conversations, etc., and then to do something about it.
- State your opinion or ask your question, and don’t worry that you don’t have the right answer.
- Keep going the last few yards – don’t quit in the delivery or conversation with someone that can help further your goals/idea, when you’ve done so much work to get to that point.
- Be honest with yourself in what you can/can’t do, but also don’t be too hard on yourself