Now is our time to turn that around and seize our time - do business on our time, our way. By Pilar Stella Ingargiola (Founder & CEO, OneGiving)
Being a woman founder of a technology startup is not a walk in the park. In fact, some days it is down right debilitating. But somehow I keep on because I am committed not only to the success of my own vision and startup OneGiving, but also to the broader movement of women's success - in business and in transforming the planet through business.
One of the stats that served as a reminder of the uphill battle we face is that less than 5% of technology startups are founded by women. And even less than that are funded by venture capitalists.
So what does that mean? We have to bootstrap more, we have to struggle more...yes to some degree. But how I see it, is we have to innovate more. We are women after all, we know how to innovate, adapt and change. THAT is what we are good at. We have been under capitalized, under resourced and honestly under valued (by ourselves as much as others) throughout history.
Now is our time to turn that around. It really is our time. Why?
VCs and many businesses that were run by men have a very linear, transactional approach. This will get them so far. Often women owned business get criticized for being too multidimensional and not focused enough.
But this is how we shine as women - multi-tasking and thinking about the interrelationships and interconnectivity of everything. This is our gift. So why try to shift our gifts into a package that men understand. What if we just learned to follow our gifts and use our talents at multidimensional approaches for success.
Look at the case of Sheryl Sandberg and of many startups. Before Sheryl, Facebook was doing great...but it hadn't mastered its monetization. Sheryl has helped Facebook to identify new revenue streams that aren't the traditional linear advertising approaches. She looked at the interconnectivity between Facebook and other partners to leverage those relationships, resources and transactions to find new opportunities to monetize Facebook.
These are the gifts that we as women bring. While it isn't the good ol' boy way of doing business, I believe it is the future. When investors and VCs start to see the trends in how women do business differently and don't discard them because it is being done differently, but embrace them, we might actually begin to see business change and the economy grow...for the better!
Here's to women founders of startups... technology or otherwise. Here's to being the change... our time has come!
This post was originally posted at Pilar Stella's blog.
Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Pilar Stella Ingargiola is the Founder and CEO of OneGiving, a for-profit standardized giving platform to make giving easier and more transparent for brands and consumers. Pilar brings over 15 years experience across for profit, nonprofit and government sectors in strategic philanthropy and social responsibility. She co-founded a consulting think-tank Sparkpolicy (formerly CSI-Policy), and consulted with dozens of other organizations. Follow her on Twitter at @pilarstella.