April 6, 2011

the midas list: where are the women?

forbes' 2011 midas list is out, and although i was stoked to see my TED pal jim breyer at the top of the list, i was overwhelmed by one question as i scrolled through the names of the 100 top tech investors:

where are the women?

in a list of 100 (mostly white, middle-aged) faces, you have to scroll down to #77 -- starvest's debroah harrington -- before you find a woman. she's joined only by stanford MBA theresia gouw ranzetta at #93. that's it.

particularly here in california, where we proudly espouse professional equality of the sexes, the midas list is a sobering reminder that two of our home-grown industries (venture capital and high tech) are ripe for sex disruption. a possible explanation for this gross imbalance is that fewer women choose these fields because of the nature of the job. but the growing movement of women in tech and venture-stage investing is hard to ignore, and i think we're seeing the last vestiges of a silicon valley boys club on the brink of serious change. to paraphrase sheryl sandberg's TEDWomen talk last december, these guys had better figure out where the women's restroom is, because it's going to become a necessary part of doing business.

i'm proud to be a member of the generation that's going to lead this shift, and as a student at stanford's graduate school of business here in the heart of tech country, i can assure you this has been a hot topic on the women in management mailing list today.

watch out silicon valley, you've been warned. there's a generation of brilliant young women champing at the bit to disrupt the tech industry and change the gender balance on the midas list.


ifindkarma said...

Totally agree. Thanks for posting this -- I'm tweeting and Facebook sharing it too!

lg said...

I'd broaden your commentary to include more than just gender diversity.

ceo osolind said...

Omission of women is common these days. Not even one of Ernst & Young's 26 2011 San Diego semifinalists for Entrepreneur of the Year is a woman: