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Investing in women.... It ain't a pretty picture.

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This picture makes me mad...

Christine - the problem is that you need a trusted referrer to introduce you to the VC's and angels. By default the gatekeepers are mostly men, and many will not even realise that they are creating a distinct bias towards male founded start ups through their networking preferences.

we need to become angels, louise. i am so f-ing angry right now i can't see straight...i feel like tweeting this to every powerbroker on twitter and challenging them to do better NOW...it's outrageous. 16 year old boys in silicon valley can get funded and grown women with experience can't...too messed up for printable words...

I fully plan to become an angel Christine! .. and not just that ... I am planning an incubator ... This is the problem.. and you will find this on most, if not all decent VC websites... a few words might be changed but the theme is the same...

we’ve realized that our best and most successful deals have all come to us by way of introduction or referral from a friend whose judgment we really trust ...

While I DO understand that this is meant to be a way to cull out the dreamers and help them get to a winning pitch sooner... I do not think many realise that this by default CUTS OUT (or makes it pretty much impossible for ) many many inspiring and innovational women.

Until VC firms have a balance of women partners then this statistic is never going to change by the very nature of its premise :(

One of the other major problems is that because this is a male centric industry from developers to VC partners- this inherent problem is not being recognised. It is harder to recognise prejudice when what you are doing is the status quo.

As you can see- it gets up my nose too! ... Keep doing what you are doing Christine.. we are both fighters and will succeed despite the odds ! :)

omg, louise we have a fair amount in common...so, i am working on my startup (coding, biz dev, networking, the whole nine yards), launching a startup initiative where i live which includes working with the local university to get some space for an incubator, rallying local investors to start an angel fund, and getting the entrepreneurs out of their cars and into our socials, and holding down my day job until i can get enough funding for me and one of my partners to go full bore because unlike 20 something college kids, we both pay the mortgages, tuition, and the utilities and buy the groceries, clothes, school supplies.

i am determined to make this work and to become an angel myself. i think for things to change,in addition to more women succeeding, some VCs with some balls are going to have to start a super fund that exclusively funds women owned startups because the numbers will be against us for quite a while.

Even though we will succeed :O)

I just read your blog .. we DO have a lot in common.. I am a writer too :) Yes, we will succeed but it is what we do along the way to make the path an easier one for women to come after us that will be what defines us.

the journey is far more fun than the end, right? ;O)

There's way more time spent in the journey than at the end.

I'm increasingly convinced that there is no finish line.

Still, the only way we can change things is by staying in, and not giving up.

We discussed over here that attitudes about networking need to improve: http://pandawhale.com/convo/2722/investing-in-women

Adam, agree about no finish line. Staying is an essential requirement for change but only something truly disruptive will create the change that is needed.

Hopefully, smart investors will see a market inefficiency. I'm helping a female friend start a new company targeting a largely female audience. Even if it's harder to get male VCs to invest, it won't matter, because it should be a cash machine.

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