“Too Few Women In Tech?”

During my daily technology reading today I came across TechCrunch‘s article Too Few Women In Tech? Stop Blaming The Men by Michael Arrington. In the article Michael Arrington discusses his reaction to The Wall Street Journal blog Addressing The Lack Of Women Leading Tech Start-Ups By Shira Ovide.  In the WSJ blog, Rachel Sklar advises that her organization, Change the Ratio,  wants to shine the light on women entrepreneurs “so that the next time TechCrunch is planning a TechCrunch Disrupt, they won’t be able to not see the overwhelming maleness of it”.  The blog also points out that there were only 14 female founders among 208 firms funded at the  prestigious start-up incubator Y Combinator.

Michael Arrington took offense to some of the feedback provided by Sklar pointing out reasons why there are not many women attendees, speakers or startups at TechCrunch Disrupt. TechCrunch Disrupt is an influential three-day, single-track conference and startup competition to immerse attendees in the debate about what’s changing in technology right now, what’s causing it and what startups need to do about it to survive and thrive in real-time.

In summary, Arrington describes the issue not as TechCrunch’s problem but a women’s problem. According to TechCrunch they tried very hard to find Women In Tech but they just can’t find them and not enough women want to become entrepreneurs.  You can read the entire TechCrunch article here. Pay close attention to the derogatory comments that have gone unfiltered by TechCrunch.

I admire TechCrunch as a leader in Technology, but after reading their article today I am sadly offended. I am especially surprised that Michael Arrington, the founder of Tech Crunch wrote the article.

I wrote some feedback on their blog asking them to consider using the power of Social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) to find Women in Tech to speak. Also suggested they pick Heather Harde’s (TechCrunch CEO) brain to find a couple of Women in the industry or have one of  their women editors write an article to nominate Women in Tech and have the Top 5 Women speak.  Their Facebook fan page boasts over 82,000 people who “like” TechCrunch. Seems to me like the perfect forum to post requests for nominations.

I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years and have walked along side some of the most talented women in this industry and I find it hard to believe that no women are out there.

A leader is supposed to embrace a problem and find a solution.  I hope that TechCrunch and Michael Arrington will put forth effort to lead and find a solution to improve relations with Women In Tech and have higher attendance of Women in Tech at TechCrunch Disrupt.

Do you agree or disagree with TechCrunch’s article?

What other suggestions would you give TechCrunch?

Eva Smith

Eva is Publisher of Tech Food Life Magazine.She has been featured on USA Today as a Top Blogger to Watch, Voxxi's Most Powerful Latinas in Social Media and Latina Magazine's Best Lifestyle Blog.

An Engineer, Digital Entrepreneur andNonprofit Advocate, Eva Smith has spent her career in Technology.She is a tech expert, content developer, consultant & speaker.

Comments

  1. I know about 50 women with technology firms. I don’t have 82,000 fans on Facebook like @TechCrunch but I definitely know a lot of female entrepreneurs. I am a female entrepreneur with a tech firm (it isn’t a blue ocean model startup, but my firm designs, installs and supports complex contact center applications). You could definitely improve your outreach efforts @arrington if you want results instead of reasons.

    @juliefogg

    • @Eva_Smith says:

      Thank you for the feedback Julie. I agree that Arrington needs to improve his outreach. But something tells me they really aren’t doing much outreach. Hoping this post and many others that have been written will change his stance.

  2. Meg Biallas says:

    Eva, I don’t have a direct answer to your question, but the topic reminded me of something. I came across an interesting article in The Atlantic Monthly, called “The End of Men.” The article pointed out that, over the next 15 years, women will represent the majority in 13 out of 15 expected job growth areas. Here’s an excerpt:

    (link: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/)

    “Men dominate just two of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most over the next decade: janitor and computer engineer. Women have everything else—nursing, home health assistance, child care, food preparation. Many of the new jobs, says Heather Boushey of the Center for American Progress, “replace the things that women used to do in the home for free.” None is especially high-paying. But the steady accumulation of these jobs adds up to an economy that, for the working class, has become more amenable to women than to men.”

    Again, it doesn’t directly relate to your question about TechCrunch’s need to include more women, but I think what we are seeing culturally is a shift of more women shifting into tech-based roles, partly because women tend to be more conversational and team-driven. Thus, the tech-social-journalism sector will hopefully include more women in the spotlight.

    Just a few thoughts.

    - Meg

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