$1b to Empower Women…and a study

This past week Melinda Gates committed $1b to expand women’s power and influence in the United States…to empower more women. The times have changed and there seems to be a window of opportunity to keep the momentum going when it comes to more women in the workplace, more women being treated equal to their male counterparts, more women starting companies, more women speaking out for what they deserve and how they should be treated.

I’d like to do a study of the last two decades in the tech space. I always believed that technology would level the playing field in the workspace. Let’s find out.

Of all the companies over the past twenty years who have gone on to be huge such as Google, Salesforce, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Snapchat, Uber, Netflix, Microsoft and others, let’s find out how much stock was given to the first thirty employees. What was the balance between men and women in that first thirty? Did the women get as much stock as the men for the equal roles entering the company at the same time? Did they execute on their shares when they left that were vested and if so how were they able to pay those taxes?

At Snap for instance, men were given more shares than women who entered the same time with the same impact and nobody knew it until it went public. This was told to me by a woman who was there. Are companies doing the right thing when they distribute stocks?

Every early employee at these companies have made millions. How many were women and how many were men? What did they do with that cash? Did women go home? Did they invest, start a business? What did the men do?

Empowering women is key. It would be interesting to look at the actual data of the past twenty years to see how many women were rewarded or not. There is a long tail to the financial success of all these people from what they did with the money, if they started their own companies, how their children see them if they have children particularly young girls looking up to their mothers.

Has anyone ever pulled all the data together? $1b is an incredible gift with the possibility of major impact but we need to study the past data to understand how impact and change will be made.