Women in technology: “Things are changing for the better”

Dr. Vivek Wadhwa, Fellow, Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, posted an interesting commentary on Linkedin recently about women’s ongoing struggle for visibility and leadership in Silicon Valley. Since I worked there for 10 years, both as a journalist and a business owner, I was curious to read his thoughts. I selected these highlights, you can read the entire posting here.

First, the downside:

“The shocking reality is that fewer than 10% of tech companies are started by women and you don’t find many women on the boards or executive management teams of companies such as Apple. It’s even worse for blacks and Hispanics—they constitute hardly 1.5% and 4.7%, respectively, of the Valley’s tech population. Sadly, things are getting worse for these groups.”

Now some good news:

“My team at Stanford Law School and Duke University, with the help of Lesa Mitchell of the Kauffman Foundation, has been surveying women in tech to learn their advantages and obstacles. We just wrapped up a survey of more than 500 women founders. A preliminary analysis reflects what I observed at the Women 2.0 conference: women are becoming more confident and assertive; they are helping each other.

Whereas my previous interviews with women had shown them to have been lacking the mentorship and support that men had, the new research seems to show much greater confidence and support.

My research team is still working on analyzing the results of the study, but it seems that things are changing for the better—at least in Silicon Valley. Now we need to replicate this magic world wide, to enable women everywhere to become entrepreneurs and better their communities.”

Read more of his comments here.