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A startup founder in Chile takes on Penelope Trunk

Posted in Coding9 years ago • Written by Matt KaludiNo Comments

In her latest guest post for TechCrunch, Penelope Trunk, the co-founder of Brazen Careerist, argues that there are so few women in tech because women are inherently interested in raising a family, particularly those in their 30’s.

Unfortunately, Trunk’s article fully misses the heart of the problem facing women in technology today, and she is instead causing more harm and division than any good.

It is correct to say that women are not very well represented in technology and startups. Only 1 out of 84 top VC’s listed in The Funded was a woman , for instance. However, instead of either ordering women to join startups, or resorting to stereotypes, or getting worked up about articles such as Trunk’s, we need to look at the environment as a whole, see what is really going on, and look to fix it.

Simply stating that women aren’t into startups because they don’t want to “continue working in their 30s the same way they did in their 20s” as she suggests is simplifying the issue down to heuristics and gender bias. We need to ask ourselves the right questions:

  • Is the startup culture itself unreceptive to women?  Is it naturally a “male” culture?
  • Are women really more prone to wanting to eventually focus their time on taking care of their family versus caring for a startup?
  • Are we giving women enough time to stake out their place in the startup field? After all, we know that the fight for women’s rights, women’s suffrage, and gender equality generally took a great deal of time.
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