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“Women Like Men, Only Cheaper”

The article and accompanying photo below were originally published by Mat Beeche via StartupDaily 19 Sept 2014 

womenlikemenonlycheaperThere are times when you should just keep your mouth closed about certain topics, even when you don’t mean any malice by it – which I don’t think was the intention of Evan Thornley, co-founder of LookSmart and speaker at today’s Startmate and Blackbird Sunrise conference.

Whether it was intended or not, he pretty much, in the weirdest roundabout way, told the audience that hiring women in your startup was a great opportunity to save dollars, because, you know – the whole gender pay gap thing.

Here is what was said:

I think when we went public on the NASDAQ I was the only company in Silicon Valley that had a majority of women on the senior management team, at least for a period of time.

The Australian labour market and the world labour market just consistently and amazingly undervalues women in so many roles in particular in our industry, so [just] call me opportunistic, I just thought I could get better people, with less competition, because we were willing to understand the skills and capabilities that these women had, so there is a great arbitrage there, we would give them more responsibility and greater share of the rewards, than they were likely to get anywhere else and that was still somewhat cheaper to what we would have had to pay for someone less good for someone of a different gender.

I’m not advocating that, that inequality should stay – I’m just saying that there is an opportunity for forward thinking people.

Well at least he is not advocating it, right? Not to mention that slide! Cringeworthy much You would think someone that has dipped their toe in politics would have a bit more sense. Needless to say, many women in the audience were pretty furious.

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My Intake on Why Getting More Women On Board With Your Startup Makes Great Business Sense? – by Orsi Parkanyi

The Opportunity: I’d like to respond by presenting some current data on the topic. According to new research by Vivek Wadhwa from Stanford and Duke universities, and Lesa Mitchell, vice president at the Kauffman Foundation: “women-led private technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieve 35 percent higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bring in 12 percent higher revenue than male-owned tech companies”.

Unfortunately there is typically low representation of women in the start-up space.Despite research demonstrating the high potential of investing in and supporting women-led ventures, recent report of StartupAUS, a local study done by Pollenizer and Deloitte, provided evidence that the female startup founders in Australia account for only 4% of all startups, while it is estimated that there are only 2% female among the investors. This might be due to the biases against women, and the sole focus on technology related ventures.

Check this out: In 2012, an estimated 126 million women were starting or running new businesses in 67 economies around the world. Indeed, women have gone a long way considering that only forty years ago, in the US for example, women owned just 5 percent of all small businesses. This number has grown to nearly 30 percent, a total of 8 million companies. However, only 4.2 percent of all revenues are generated by women-owned businesses in the US which shows that women tend to own small or so-called lifestyle businesses suggesting a need to educate and tailor programs for women entrepreneurs on understanding the power of capital raising and business growth.

The Opportunity: Women entrepreneurs and business owners represent the largest emerging market in the world. Moreover, women make around 85% of consumer decisions and they control about $20 trillion in annual consumer spending. Businesses without any females will miss out big time and will be left behind on a long run. On the other hand, businesses that have women on their boards and employ women tend to tap female focused markets more intuitively than their male counterparts and therefore, considering getting (more) women on board with your startup and business has enormous business potential.

Do you have women supporting and accelerating your startup venture? Share your stories and comments below! We’d love to hear them! 

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