Fran Maier Encourages Women To "Embrace The Female Consumer... And Not Apologize For It"

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Today's Women 2.0 Conference on February 14, 2013 is being livestreamed here today and video will be available post-event. By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

Women were 10% of the Internet "but we've come a long way - we're nearly at parity," says Fran Maier, founding member of the Match.com team. She is now the Chair and founder of TRUSTe, another online trust company. Her talk "Women As Consumers & Much, Much More!" at Women 2.0 Conference 2013 is about women not only as the shoppers and buyers (a huge market).

She reveals that women are looking to save time and money, to become more efficient. "Women are not one large market but obviously there are many segments." There are women with children, without, etc. Women feel misunderstand in many transactions and "many times she doesn't get the respect that she needs" - and while companies try to make this better by "making it pink", it is not the answer.

"Listen and learn, deliver the value, solve the problem," she urged for women building high-growth, high-tech businesses.

"Women are only 8% of venture-backed founders, 11% of VC partners, 15% of angel investors and 9% of women on boards," she reminds us. She admits this may be because men are better at hiring other guys who they know, "and we've got to start doing this. First, you are women, the market is women, use your advantage, think about that, go after it and don't apologize for - it's a big market and you can do it."

"By helping other people, you create a virtuous cycle and you'll play it forward and that can be really powerful and men have been doing that a long time," she said.

Follow the conversation on Twitter with hash tag #w2conf today and shout out to Women 2.0 at @women2!

Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.