Through the Education Lens

Girls go to college, and boys create and run tech businesses. Ouch.

CJ Westerberg, October 11, 2011 10:02 PM

girls.boys. in technology.entrepreneurship .jpg

Wow. Just look at this pix above.   

Ruminations about women leaders and
entrepreneurs in tech-land.
Where are they?

"Are girls better at school and boys better at breaking the rules?"
- C.J. Westerberg

I've been in the trenches of the NYC media, communications and publishing world for over twenty years, where all roads eventually led straight toward technology (and where another famous road, Sand Hill Road,  became a part of the conversation), before a total immersion
in education, learning and parenting. 

I was privvy to the changing scenario in the early 80's in the media world where women gained access to more high-level positions and the days of Mad Men were a distant past.  Yet recently, there was a Ground Hog Day throw-back moment for me, when I first saw this video below from one of my favorite bloggers, Mark Suster, who writes the most amazing posts about entrepreneurship, tech, and marketing.  (He also happens to a successful entrepreneur/VC, with a self-descriptive as the "2x entrepreneur who has gone to the Dark Side of VC".)

This quick video (#1) was embedded by Suster in a post about unique marketing ideas for holiday cards.  Another VC firm, First Round Capital  cleverly displayed the energy of the entrepreneurial companies they were currently investing in, similar to the famous Matt viral videos.  

While Suster's points were spot-on from a marketing standpoint, what I saw, with all these new high energy start-ups, were that they were predominantly men, again and again.  Yeah, sure a few women here and there, but . . .  it's not a Mad Men scenario, either.   It's just remarkable how few women are leading tech start-ups, or just not there at all. Okay, there's Arianna, Marissa, Mary, and a few other notables, but still.

Is it industry-specific, or does It start with expectations, norms, and pressure in our culture?  And, what about our K-12 education system?  Is it a tech/science/math issue?
Are girls better at "school" and "boys" better at breaking the rules?  Is school about
following the rules and business is about breaking them?

What's your riff on this?  Others have weighed in on this:  

#2 Vimeo  The Discussion of the Lack of Women in Tech  by Brad Feld of The Foundry Group
features this presentation by Terry Oda, a self-proclaimed geek, researcher, coder, Canadian, photographer, teacher, musician, web security, and open-source peep. 

#3 -  Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, in this TED video, "Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders" .  15 min.  Reminds me of so very many familiar scenarios. . .   It is good.

Originally posted The Daily Riff 2/2011
Why Women Rule the Internet Techcrunch

Business Week's Why There Are So Few Women in Tech

Change the Ratio by Gotham Gal
Michael Arrington of TechCrunch: Too Few Women in Tech? Stop Blaming the Men.

 Alley to the Valley

At Colleges, Women Leaving Men in the Dust - NY Times



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