Late last week, the New York Times finally figured out why women-led start-ups get a fraction of the funding ($1.5 billion) that male-led start-ups ($58.2 billion) receive, and it was because female founders were the victims of predatory behavior and sexual harassment. This was an open secret in the industry keeping many women from even attempting to get financing. More than two dozen female entrepreneurs shared their stories about the predatory behavior they had experienced when seeking out financing or jobs. The massive gender and power imbalance in the industry have allowed this situation to continue unchecked for years until now. The ousting of Binary Capital’s Justin Caldbeck detailed in this Forbes article opened the floodgates. The full article and the women’s stories can be found here.
And as a follow-up, mid-last week, Dave McClure of 500 Startups also resigned in response to multiple women coming forward detailing both harassment and assault. More women have come forward to share their stories and it is beginning to look like this is the tip of the iceberg. The question is now what will the industry and institutional investors in these funds do to clean up this abhorrent behavior? The full article can be found here.
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were in the line of fire last week with Trump calling Mr. Scarborough out as psycho, but saving his best for Ms. Brzezinski demeaning her for her age, appearance and mental capacity. And what do you ask does this have to do with women in finance? When the president of the United States uses his very public platform to demean and belittle women, it undermines our gender and is an insult to all women. It also raises the question about what is going on behind closed doors when there are few to no women in the room. Our government is supposed to look after all of our interests, but when we don’t have a seat at the table, we get what crumbs are left for us. Case in point, in the conversation about the healthcare bill, one representative noted that it was crazy that a 62-year-old man needed to pay a share for pregnancy insurance, and the question is, is that any crazier than an 18-year-old woman pays for prostate surgery? The point is we all need women to have children for the human race to continue. How is coming together as a collective (which is the point of insurance pools) somehow a burden on men?
We have some terrific events lined up for you this year and look forward to seeing you all at an event in 2017! To learn more about our 2017 events, please visit www.txwsw.com Please also scroll to the end of this newsletter to check out some interesting jobs from our network.