All bros?

maxresdefaultI read a post on Medium by Rachel Thomas.  Rachel gets tech.  She has a phD from Duke in math.  Enough said.

In her post she highlights some really great statistics that I will share.   Her post is a worthy read.

41% of women in tech end up leaving after 7 years vs 17% of men.  The main reason for leaving?  Discriminatory work places.

Investors prefer identical pitches from a man vs a woman by 68% to 32%.

Women who ask for a salary raise were rated as being more difficult to work with and less nice vs their male counterparts who were not perceived negatively for negotiating for a salary raise.

In 248 performance reviews in high tech, negative criticism such as abrasive, strident and irrational showed up in 85% of the reviews of women vs 2% for men.  Seriously?

The bias is huge.  Things need to change.  Men need to change their thinking more than women.  Especially male leaders.  Sexism is everywhere.  The stories that I could tell are beyond but nobody wants to point fingers.

I have been spending the last few weeks talking to sponsors about the Women’s Entrepreneur Festival next April.  This year it will be held at 1 World Trade Center as we are taking it on the road (no longer at NYU).  One of the subjects I have talked about with sponsors is how unique the event is. When there is 400+women entrepreneurs in a comfortable environment it is amazing how they learn from each other, validate each other and inspire each other.  Our tag line is connect and be heard.

When I read these statistics, I can’t help think about WEFestival. and I will be writing more about that in the months to come.

What I will share is that after reading so many of these statistics, watching first hand behavior in companies overwhelmingly male I have made an investing decision.  This will be adding to my thesis.  Already almost 75% of the companies I have invested in are women founders.  I invest in men too but I will not invest in a company that are all bros.  When I open a deck and see a bunch of smiling guys without one female on the team I close the deck.  Change has to happen from the investors too.  Building companies that have gender balance from the get-go will create different environments for women and if you look at the data around women outperforming men these days (ROI), I am pretty confident this is a very wise choice.