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?
- TechCrunch Editor Tells Female Entrepreneurs To ‘Stop Blaming Men’ For Their Problems [Debates] (gawker.com)
- Arrington: “Women Entrepreneurs – Stop Blaming Men For Your Problems.” (businessinsider.com)
- Is There a Gender Divide in Startups? (thedailybeast.com)
- Too Few Women in Tech? Stop Playing the Blame Game (fastcompany.com)
- Women In Tech and Women Entrepreneurs Discussion (avc.com)