Silicon Valley has recently been rocked by a series of sexism scandals and some very senior heads have rolled. It began with sexual harassment allegations at Uber, which eventually brought down CEO Travis Kalanick. Since then, Dave McClure, co-founder of 500 StartUps, an accelerator, has been forced to resign, and VC firm Binary Capital has been dissolved due to their co-founder’s behaviour towards women. Even Google has not escaped, after a male engineer got fired for a memo he sent arguing women are not as suitable to technical and leadership roles as men.
Women in tech have suddenly become a hot topic.
As a female tech entrepreneur I have had my share of undesirable experiences, and have heard appalling stories from my fellow tech women. The news industry is reporting old news. Here is just one statistic to illustrate the point: last year, venture capitalists invested $58.2 billion in companies with all-male founders, the equivalent figure for women-led firms was a mere $1.46 billion.
When I was raising our first round of funding, I met an angel investor who expressed an interest in the company. Our first meeting was for lunch, and it went well. I did not go to the second meeting because the venue he proposed was his pool. ‘ Don’t bring your laptop, bring your bikini, and we will talk about business after a swim ’ read the text message from him.
A female friend who runs a deep tech start-up, which has some impressive clients, told me she spent three months in Silicon Valley attempting to raise a funding round. She went to meetings with one identikit investor after another but, she…