Female Entrepreneurs Lagging On VC Funding, Coping With Impostor Syndrome, Mentors Create Sustainability for Women in STEM, Are Teachers The First Stop On the Road To Gender Parity?

Female Entrepreneurs Lagging On VC Funding

Did you know only 4% of venture capitalist (VC) funding goes to female entrepreneurs? YouNoodle recently conducted a study around the top 1,000 new startup companies of 2013. This study focused on gender bias experienced by female entrepreneurs in their efforts to obtain VC funding vs. their success in startup competitions. The study revealed that while women tend to experience equal levels of success as their male counterparts in startup competitions, the playing field is not so equal when it comes to VC funding. This begs the question, are men simply better at pitching their business models to venture capitalists or is gender bias playing a role here?

Torsten Kolind, CEO of YouNoodle, speaks on how competitions differ from in-person meetings: “That’s very different than the standard investment pitch where you’re typically introduced to someone, and it’s about relationship and trust...If you ask your typical VC how they make decisions, they’re still very dependent on their relationships with people.” Read the full article here.

Coping With Impostor Syndrome

Did you know that impostor syndrome, or the feeling of not belonging or being undeserving of one’s success, is more common in the tech sector than you might think? The syndrome results from stereotype threat or the fear that we might confirm a negative stereotype about a group to which we belong (e.g., women), and reduces confidence, performance, and risk-taking. Impostor syndrome is most commonly experienced by successful people that belong to an underrepresented group within their profession, a perfect example of which is women in tech. Maria Klawe, currently the President of Harvey Mudd College, speaks about her lifelong battle with impostor syndrome in this article from Slate Magazine. Klawe shares her approach to encouraging her students in stating, “As a dean at UBC and Princeton and as president at HMC, I have started each academic year by telling the first-year students about impostor syndrome, since I know many of them will have times when they wonder whether they belong and whether they are as talented as the other students around them. I also give them advice on how to cope with impostoritis.” Continue reading to learn more about dealing with impostor syndrome.

NCWIT’s Promising Practice, How Do Stereotype Threats Affect Retention? Better Approaches to Well-Intentioned, but Harmful Messages (Case Study 1), examines how instructors and advisors can minimize stereotype threat by creating an accepting environment where students feel at ease and are recognized for their achievements.

Mentors Create Sustainability for Women in STEM

Did you know Million Women Mentors (MWM) is an initiative which aims to produces one million STEM mentors by the year 2018? As stated in this article, this program hopes to enable women to be successful in STEM fields through creating a sustainable pipeline of female tech talent from early childhood, all the way through early career. The one million mentors they hope to create, both male and female, will be instrumental in creating and sustaining this pipeline. Seeta Hariharan, General Manager & Group Head of Digital Software & Solutions for the program, addresses young women in STEM in stating, “You don’t just choose one mentor. And it’s not necessary for you to choose a mentor that’s right at the top of the ladder. You don’t have to have a CEO as your mentor. You have to choose someone that is willing to give you the time.”

NCWIT’s “Mentoring-in-a-Box: Technical Women at Work” and “Mentoring-in-a-Box: Women Faculty in Computing” provide great tips to help you start a successful mentoring relationship.

NCWIT is proud to be a partner of the MWM initiative.

Are Teachers The First Stop On the Road To Gender Parity?

Did you know that instilling fundamental tech skills within our educators could make all the difference in reaching gender parity in tech fields? That’s what Atlanta-based tech startup, Tech Talent South believes, according to this article. They’ve recently announced their plans to get more teachers involved in tech through course training around web development and coding. Tech Talent South believes that by equipping teachers with these skills, they will be able to take these skills back to the classroom to teach and inspire girls to pursue a computing pathway. Betsy Hauser speaks from personal experience in saying, “I found the experience of learning code so empowering that I launched Tech Talent South with [cofounder] Richard Simms to help other professional women learn the digital skills they need to get involved and make a difference.” The goal is that  this Tech Talent South initiative will have a similar impact on local educators.