Gender equality – How are we doing?

Women are vital innovators in the technology industry – yet we often only hear about men! Think about some of the great innovators in the technology industry. Who comes to mind first? Founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame? Or perhaps, Kay Koplovitz? If you haven’t heard of Koplovitz’s groundbreaking work, here’s the reason why: She’s a woman.

Why is it that we usually associate the technological advances of recent decades with only the men behind them? It’s not the case that women don’t have what it takes to innovate, in fact, quite the opposite. A study conducted by the National Science Foundation found that females matched males in mathematical achievement. Moreover, for every 100 men that enroll in higher education, there are 140 women.

Not only do women excel academically, they are also no less business-savvy than men, if not more so. Another study completed by Babson’s Global Entrepreneurship revealed that female-led high-tech start-ups have noticeably lower failure rates than those that are male leaders. Despite this, the technology industry itself often praises the achievements of men only. In fact, even over the past few years, the TechCrunch Crunchies Awards (the Oscars of the tech industry), have often been exclusively awarded to men. As a result, we’re often left unaware of the achievements of female innovators like Kay Klopovitz, who you should thank if you’ve ever watched a live sports game on TV. In 1977, Klopovitz singlehandedly brought professional sport to cable television in the United States. Inspired by a talk given by the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke, she brought the future to life by developing the novel idea of using satellites for commercial rather than military purposes. If only we heard more about success stories like Klopovitz, we’d see that women might even have an edge over men in their abilities to innovate.


Studies have shown that women achieve greater success as entrepreneurs than men.


In 2009, a Kauffman Foundation study showed that women were more capital-efficient than men. Or, in plain English, women in business spend the money they start off with more wisely. They also see more stable or greater returns on this money. Not only do women in business have a knack for managing money, they also demonstrate sophisticated people skills. Women generally place a higher value on personal and professional networks than men, and spend more time cultivating good business partnerships. Another distinctive way in which women make great business leaders is what Whitney Johnson, co-founder of Rose Park Advisors, calls disruptive innovation. How exactly can something be disruptive and innovative at the same time?

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Disruptive innovations outperform existing and outdated ideas or businesses. For example, email is a disruptive innovation, when we consider how it blew the almost-obsolete snail mail out of the water. Women are disruptive innovators in the way that they build and maintain networks outside of their organizations. A professor of the Harvard Business School has demonstrated this in his research, showing the way women work “outside the box” to bring new ideas and people together in a novel way. Of course, anyone can dream up novel ideas, but it seems women in particular are also highly successful at turning these ideas into profitable companies.

This can be seen when we look at companies backed by venture capitalists: highly selective and demanding investors who invest in small businesses so they can grow. One study showed that on average, the successful venture capital-backed companies have double the amount of women in their highest ranks, indicating the value of their contribution.

The CEO characters that you see in TV shows and movies all tend to look the same – middle-aged, suited-up and male. But this pop culture stereotype is far from reality – while we don’t often see powerful female CEOs depicted in the media, female-led and -owned businesses shouldn’t be overlooked. I think Ivanka Trump, is a great inspiration for many women in this world. She is a mother and a very smart business woman!

Not only are women beginning to lead their own companies, they’re also enjoying large amounts of success. And they’re no minority either – the Center for Women’s Business Research says that as many as 41 percent of private businesses in the United States are owned by women. These businesses also tend to be highly successful and consistently outperform their male-owned counterparts. After surveying highly profitable firms in 2013, American Express found that among businesses with revenue greater than $10 million, those owned by women enjoyed a 47 percent higher rate of growth. Moreover, from 2002 to 2012, female-owned businesses grew 28.6 percent, while other businesses only grew 24.4 percent. Once again, women-owned companies came out on top!


Women in the technology industry have brought about enormous social change.”


Not only are women making waves in technology, they’re also making a difference in the world. Many female innovators have utilized technology to address worldwide poverty and inequality. As entrepreneurs, women have a vested interest in overcoming an oppressive status quo.


Gender bias exists at all levels of the technology industry.


Despite this obvious imbalance, high-earning companies have yet to show any initiative to rectify things. A 2012 survey by McKinsey & Company found that only eight percent of larger companies had women in more than 25 percent of the top jobs. This is a reality we can see statistically and socially.

The technology industry is a boys club that needs to be exposed. Firstly, for the sake of the talented women, who are challenged daily despite being instinctively business-savvy high academic performers, and arbiters of social change, not to mention mothers. And secondly, for the progression of the technology industry today and in the future.

And most importantly we, yes we WOMEN need to change! Read my other blog: where I explain why WE need to change: Women need to change. Another article I already wrote is the topic from Neelie Kroes: Neelie Kroes

I believe that women need to put their hands together and help each other to be successful. As still lots of women are a pain to work with! Luckily there are great women who are trying to put some changes in place!

Share your thoughts & Happy reading.

Love, Marietta

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