Instead of agonizing over why there aren't more women in IT, it might be more interesting and more fruitful to ask: Why are women so brilliant at IT? I ask the question because I know, have employed or interviewed, so many outstanding women in IT, and it always amazes me that no one has noticed how, or why, they are so stunningly successful.
Our fourth and last literature review for NCWIT, supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, is now available. As in the other reviews, we examine what social science research tells us about the reasons for the small percentage of IT entrepreneurs who are women. For this review, we consider the influence that gender differences in social capital may have on IT entrepreneurship.
Women are much more likely than men to self-finance their business. Rather than go into debt or sell shares, women commonly use personal savings, earnings from the business, home equity loans, credit cards, and family loans to finance their business. In this third in our series of articles for NCWIT and the Kauffman Foundation on the under-representation of women entrepreneurs in the IT field, we survey the social science literature for what it says about the gendered difference in access to capital for entrepreneurs.
The second in our series of entrepreneurship reports is now online. On behalf of NCWIT and The Kauffman Foundation, we have been exploring what the social science literature tells us about why there are so few women entrepreneurs in the IT field. This review considers psychological factors.
I had the pleasure this week of teaching a one-day session on entrepreneurship at Wellesley College, as part of a three-week course called Management Basics offered to Wellesley students and taught, in part, by the many devoted alumnae like me ('82) who so enjoy being on campus and getting to know the students.
Recently, Lucy Sanders of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) had lunch with Sun's "Succeeding @ Sun as a Woman Engineer" (SASWE) networking group. Lucy talked about NCWIT's mission to ensure that women are fully represented in the influential world of information technology and computing. I came away from the lunch with questions about why young women aren't more fascinated by computing.
As of 2006, according to The Center for Women's Business Research, there were about 7.7 million majority-women-owned (51 percent or more) businesses in this country, accounting for nearly one-third of all U.S. businesses. In the last decade, in fact, women-owned firms have grown at more than twice the rate of U.S. businesses overall.