Episode 36 | Disruption
"It’s hard to explain until you’ve experienced it. The level of power wielded over women in the tech industry rivals that in the film industry… It is so normalized, we brush it off and many of us casually participate because it’s easier. From what I’ve learned from friends, it permeates the finance and legal industries too… all these professions where the white male slightly sociopathic genius is put on a pedestal. The power at the top of that pedestal can be absolute. The struggle to get there can produce even more brutal showmanship of power. The last few weeks have helped to uproot some of the truly deep, dark abuse of power that propels white cisgender physically able men to wealth and success, and largely keeps everyone else out.” — Melinda Briana Epler
With all of the headlines making news on the women in tech front, we felt it was appropriate to chime in on the conversation. Although we walked away from the investment-backed startup world over a year ago, we remain connected to a diverse community of other female founders and women in tech. And the stories we’ve been reading sound familiar, yet disturbing.
With only 5% of startups having (at least one) female on the founding team, it not hard to imagine why there are countless subtle—and not so subtle—biases against women. An entire subculture has developed within startups and tech companies. And this subculture doesn’t look like many of us. It looks white, male, and young. This subculture, often, doesn’t represent our most pressing needs or long-term interests.
But something interesting is starting to happen — in private Slack groups for female founders, in female-run coworking spaces, in secret Facebook groups for female CEOS and others for female gamers…another subculture is developing. It looks and feels a lot like the beginnings of a revolution.