Barriers for women in technology and startups

facebook Barriers for women in technology and startups 1twitter Barriers for women in technology and startups 2google Barriers for women in technology and startups 0linkedin Barriers for women in technology and startups 5reddit Barriers for women in technology and startups 0

BgOLPQNCYAEWKx2 Barriers for women in technology and startups Did you know that the CEO of Buzzmove is a woman? A woman who not only started her own company, but who also chose to start a technology-based company, which makes her one of the few women in the UK to choose a career path in technology.

After a horrible moving experience, Becky decided to change the way the removals industry worked so that no one would have to experience that stress again. With only a very basic technology background, she created her own company and is now changing the face of moving home for everyone.

This week Becky was invited to take part in a panel discussion regarding women working in tech and startups. The panel were asked questions about whether there are more barriers for women in tech and startups and whether the view we have on failure in Britain prevents even more women from believing in their ideas and starting their own companies.

We think these are important questions to raise awareness around to try and encourage more women to start their own companies, and that’s why this blog post will focus on discussing these questions.

Are there more barriers for women in tech and startups?

According to a survey made by RBS, 42% of women were prevented from starting a business because of their fear of failing and they were less likely to apply for funding for their businesses than men. With those statistics, it’s no shock that the survey also revealed that men are twice as likely to start a business in the UK than women.

There are many reasons as to why we see less women in tech and startups. As we all know, historically women were the ones who stayed home with the children while the men were working and earning money, and even though this no longer is the case some of these values still live on in today’s society.

Starting your own company requires a lot of hard work and long hours in the office, which means that you really have to be dedicated to what you do and this can be problematic for a woman with a family. Women who choose their career before their family and their children often receive a lot of criticism, and often the thought of this can be enough to prevent women from even considering starting their own business.

Another reason why women might not want to go into tech and startups could be because these industries generally are male dominated. Because of this, women might feel out of place and not part of the ‘gang’ which is detrimental in any work environment. This could also be a disadvantage when it comes to applying for funding and networking, which are both important for startups. The fact that there are more men in tech and startups also leaves women with less female role models, which naturally means that women are less likely to aspire to become entrepreneurs when they don’t see it as a clear career option.

It has also been suggested that women are less ambitious than men and that they don’t try as hard to achieve what they want. This could also be seen in the way that women tend to be more self-critical than men, as many women don’t have the same belief in their ability to do something as most men do. Therefore men dare to do more, such as taking the risk and starting their own company, confident that their idea will work.

Does the view on failure in Britain prevent even more women from starting their own business?

The view on failure is problematic; no one wants to fail because failure is not something that is accepted by our society. Growing up in today’s society we are told we can do anything and that nothing is impossible and failure is not something that ever is encouraged. Because of this it is hard to all of a sudden change the mind set and think, ‘failure might not be the end of the world for a startup, and it might even lead me to success in my next business.’

With women being more self-critical it seems like a natural link for them to also be more worried about failing, and therefore also less likely to start their own business because of this fear.

What has to be done to get more women to choose a career path in tech and startups?

•  We need to take away the blame that society puts on women who choose both a career and a family.
•  Female entrepreneurs and women in tech need to be shown in the media so that young girls/women have female role models to look up to.
•  Womens’ self esteem has to be improved, and this would ideally be done from an early stage in schools.
•  ‘Failure stories’ need to be more accessible. If we open up the idea that failure doesn’t have to be the end of the world by highlighting business that didn’t work, but showing that the person behind the business is fine today and perhaps succeeded with her second startup.

What are your opinions on women in startups and tech? Do you agree or disagree with the view that there are barriers for women in these industries? And what do you think needs to be done?

logo Barriers for women in technology and startups

Sources: Why Women Continue to Lag Behind Men In The Startup Community – and What We Can Do About It
Picture source: Wayra UK 

My Google+ profile

3 thoughts on “Barriers for women in technology and startups

  1. Audrey Wright

    I agree with most of what you say. There certainly are barriers for women in startups and most likely tech as well, even though I have no observations on the latter.

    The barriers are various and on a variety of fronts starting from education, society, role models, culture, expectations and others.
    But there are self-imposed blockades that we ourself put before us.
    Startups today are a synonym of “taking a huge risk”. They require a big investment in funds, time, research, planning and devotion, even before you can estimate feasibility and ROI. So happens, that you can fail even before you’ve started. This is quite normal for the startup world. Some ideas go and become big, some allow you to barely get back what you’ve already invested and some simply waste an enormous chunk of resources from the get go. The risk is not for everybody to take, that’s why only so many of the startups actually live past infancy.

    However, there is one trait in women that acts as genetic barrier to this practice. Statistically, women are less fond of taking risks. We like security and clarity of what happens next. I don’t know if it’s culture imposed trait (like the housewife effect) or something else, but in the general view it’s true. We hate risks and if there is another way to lead our lives, we’d pick the small but guaranteed fish, than the 50/50 between a gourmet and going to bed with a glass of water for dinner.

    Men lack that problem (again “statistically”). They are far more likely to make big, risky decisions on the go and put their entire wealth, property and time on the line to see if their idea will work.

    In my opinion this is the largest reason on why the scale of men vs. women in startups is so unbalanced and most other reasons are produced out of that single difference in characters.

    As for tech, I think culture is to blame. Women are as great scientists as men are. There is no other opinion. It’s just that education, culture and parenting are still not flexible enough to promote females to take on science and tech.

    1. Mr Rubbish

      Agreed, some of the barriers are artificially put there. Although.. the parent factor is a bit disturbing. How can you change that? You most probably can’t, at least in most parents.

      I have my firm belief, that both males and females can be equally successful in startups and tech.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *