Challenges facing women IT entrepreneurs
Interesting article in the New York Times about the challenges facing women seeking to start up IT companies. It’s not women avoiding hard work — starting up any company is hard work, and women own 40% of all businesses in the US. The problem as described here seems to be overt sexism and assumptions about the role of women. The social cost is reduced innovation for everyone. Nice references here to a variety of studies from NCWIT, ABI, and CSTA.
Women own 40 percent of the private businesses in the United States, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research. But they create only 8 percent of the venture-backed tech start-ups, according to Astia, a nonprofit group that advises female entrepreneurs.
That disparity reaches beyond entrepreneurs. Women account for just 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, and 22 percent of the software engineers at tech companies over all, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. And among venture capitalists, the population of financiers who control the purse strings for a majority of tech start-ups, just 14 percent are women, the National Venture Capital Association says.
That reality is even more complex when race is factored into the mix. Small percentages of workers in information technology are African-American, Asian or Hispanic, and that number is even smaller for women.