Why Does Corporate America Have so Few Female CEOs?

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Recently, I had a deep conversation with my friend @GeoffDeWeaver, which prompted him to re-publish this article, much of what we discussed is included, and I thought you might find it interesting from a male perspective.  Turns out Geoff and I have lived and been in similar circles  across the globe, and both of us still find this an awestruck question – its 2016 and time for a change, and who can change it – we can. You will see more from both of us on this topic.

Bottom-line: ..”having leaders with diverse experiences and backgrounds often translates to financial success. Whether it’s grades at school, university or ongoing – Female Founders Outperform Their Male Peers and deserve to continue to keep smashing the ‘glass ceiling’ in the corporate business market.” Geoff De Weaver

“You can not possibly have the best team if you are missing 50% of the talent pool, and women who are here and in the “game” are extremely good because they have had to beat all the odds – so in reality when you add a woman to your team you are getting a triple AAA player.” Jax Harrison

Excerpts: In a recent LinkedIn Pulse post, Sallie Krawcheck, summarized women empowerment perfectly. Sallie stated:

2016 will be the year in which the forces of entrepreneurialism and feminism converge. Together, they will drive a long-wave, golden age of female entrepreneurship, which will be a positive for all of us: positive and empowering for the women who make the leap, good for the economy, good for consumers, and good for society.”

AND, then wrote:

‘Look around, and you’re beginning to see a critical mass of inspirational, successful female entrepreneurs,leading the way and providing examples. They’ve founded and run businesses such as 23andMe, Rent the Runway, TheRealReal, Birchbox, Spanx, Stitch Fix, Dry Bar, BaubleBar, Tory Burch, The Honest Company, Houzz, Lynda.com. And the list gets longer every day. No playing by the boys-club rules for these entrepreneurs. No asking permission. And they are forever banishing the concept that women’s businesses are supposed to be little or cute or limited to small-scale, home crafts. Or make-up. And their success is resonating, such that when I’m on business school and college campuses, entrepreneurialism is discussed at every meeting I have with female students.’

Arena Ventures and Women Founders

CEO Paige Craig of Arena Ventures @paigecraig wrote a great article below on Woman Founders; what they face in the industry, why he believes it is the way it is, and gives great advice for changing it. #ifshecanican.  It is encouraging and inspiring!

“Half Our Start-ups Are Founded By Women And I Am Surprised and Delighted.”  As it should be.

 

Female Founders at Arena

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Female Founders (Above) Clockwise from top-left: Leura Fine, CEO of Laurel & Wolf; Leiti Hsu, Susan Ho, Amy Guo, Co-Founders of Journy; Akta Adani, CEO of India Boulevard; Danielle Morrill, CEO of Mattermark; Margaret Laney, CMO of Mytable

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Female Founders (Above) Clockwise from top-left: Payal Kadakia, CEO of Classpass; Niniane Wang, CEO of Evertoon; Kanjun Qiu, CEO of a stealth AI startup; Christina Saas, COO of Andela; Amanda Micallef, COO of Arsenic

So if most of us are out there aiming to invest in great people; and if we can also agree that founder potential is evenly distributed among the broad populations of women and men, then why are most gender investing ratios so fundamentally skewed?

Here’s my opinion: Most investors don’t have a real framework or techniques for investing in so called “amazing founders”