Sunday, August 17, 2008

Men, Men, Everywhere

Blogging and filmmaking have not (for me) turned into ways of making a living. At least not yet. So for income generation, to maintain the lifestyle that I love, and to feel useful and appreciated, I turn to consulting (otherwise known as part-time or interim, or project work, and which I'll refer to as gigs).

So one of my new gigs involves work with a venture capital firm, doing some due diligence for them, and in the process of working it out, while in a car, I called my daughter and asked her to look up the bio of one of the firm's partners. She discovered, to her shock, that all 16 partners, associates and managing partners (meaning everyone that was listed as part of the "team", was male.

She was shocked, but I wasn't. Not because I don't find it shocking, but just because I know that that's the way it is. Now why is that so? Well, a friend that was over for dinner last night posited his opinion. Women just are not entrepreneurial. And being a VC, while not entrepreneurial per se, requires an understanding of entrepreneurs, and that, women just don't have.

Hmmmm. I don't know about that. Yes, women seem to be much less inclined to start tech companies. And in the few exceptions I know of, there's often a male partner involved, often a husband or boyfriend. Or maybe not less inclined, but less successful at it. Now why would that be? Is it because they're less entrepreneurial, or is it that the entrepreneurs they need for collaboration in an engineering environment are mostly male. Tough one to answer. Are there less female VC's because it's such a male dominated world, and men (like women, and like most ethnic groups) feel more comfortable partnering with one of their own? Is it because male entrepreneurs starting new companies feel more comfortable having a male VC on their board than a female VC? Is it because pension funds, even through run by women, are more likely to give their money to male-run VC firms.

I have to think about this some more, and will post a follow-on. Your comments are welcome.


At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way off base. Why can't it be that women are inferior at things? Why is that so difficult for so many (women) to swallow? Men accept they're not very good at nurturing, or talking about their feelings, or doing embroidery, or empathizing or mediating complex personal disputes. Some women seem to believe they are, literally, the equal of men. That's wrong. Women are better at some things. Men are as well.


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