By Jessica T
About this blog: I'm a late thirties mother of a ten-year-old and infant twins. My family moved to Menlo Park 6 years ago from Virginia - where I grew up, went to college, got married, had my first born, and got an MBA (in that order). I'm a manag... (More)
About this blog: I'm a late thirties mother of a ten-year-old and infant twins. My family moved to Menlo Park 6 years ago from Virginia - where I grew up, went to college, got married, had my first born, and got an MBA (in that order). I'm a manager at Google, Inc. (Please note: The views expressed in this blog are my personal views and not those of Google.) My husband grew up in Los Angeles and is a novelist and professor at San Jose State University. Our daughter attends the Menlo Park public schools, and I was a member of the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation board for three years. I am now a board member for the Center for Literary Arts at SJSU. I struggled with secondary infertility for five years and recently conceived and delivered fraternal twins - a healthy baby girl and boy in May 2013. I've worked (and pursued my graduate degree) since my elder daughter was twelve weeks old. I supported my husband throughout his graduate education, and now I'm the primary breadwinner for our family. I have coped with the pressures and angst of what that means for many years. I am lucky to have a husband with a flexible schedule; he shoulders the lion's share of housework, cooking, and childcare in our home. I'm looking forward to engaging with men and women who can relate to the challenges of modern day life in Silicon Valley. (Hide)
View all posts from Jessica T
Venture capital for today's women entrepreneurs
Uploaded: Aug 12, 2014
Seven years ago, on the day I left Virginia, I had to run a last-minute errand at Walmart - where I was honked at and ridiculed one last time, thanks to my Hillary Clinton for President 2008 bumper sticker. I knew it was time to go. My homeland was no longer my homeland. Good riddance, state of very little progress and backwards ideals! I was moving to the land of equal opportunity. In California I had interviewed with a number of high-ranking women, and I was clutching an offer letter signed by Sheryl Sandberg. At last I was escaping the good ole boys network that had stifled me since middle school.
Gradually I came to realize that Silicon Valley, was, well, not that different from Virginia after all. Virginia was undoubtedly more conservative, but somehow Virginia had an excuse - it was Virginia, after all, a state founded by stodgy old men in powdered wigs. I expected better of California.
Take the venture-capital industry. I've read plenty of accounts
of sexism and sexual harassment in the venture capital world. Like many, I want to believe they are one-offs - that for the most part VCs are unbiased investors thoughtfully nurturing the management teams and businesses they believe in. But last week I was discouraged to read yet another account of a female CEO struggling to raise venture funding in the valley. This narrative
was published in Forbes anonymously. At what point does an anomaly become a trend?
As a marketer, I see an opportunity here. Women entrepreneurs are tired of dealing with male venture capitalists whose manners remain stuck in the 1950's. It seems to me that any any VC firm hoping to capitalize on the next-generation ideas and management talent
possessed by female entrepreneurs should simply publish and enforce a Code of Ethics. That way women would be assured of harassment-free negotiations and VC firms would have their pick of the most disruptive advancements originating from female founders.
As the writer of the Forbes article attests, there are already female-focused venture firms. She says, "If I chose to solely approach women investors about my business, I would be dramatically reducing our funding options."
Would she? Really? Because even that perspective seems dated. We have self-made women billionaires now! Maybe what we need is way more female-focused VCs - enough to put pressure on the traditional, male-focused firms. In fact, if every self-made female millionaire I know started her own fund, we'd really be getting somewhere.
Female entrepreneurs: are you looking for your next start-up idea? Have I got a market for you! And if you do start a venture fund for women, I want in.
What is it worth to you?
Post a comment
Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.