Gründende Frauen in der Techszene

Founding women in the tech scene: Time for a rethink

Ever more firms are being founded in the tech scene, yet the share of female founders in Europe is limited to just 14.7 percent. Facts in this area offer strong reasons why women should venture the step towards their own startup.

The online news portal TechCrunch has reported that the success rate of companies with two or more female executives stands at 50 percent. According to this figure, it should be attractive for women to found their own startup. But not only that: Women can also increase the gross domestic product across Europe by nine billion Euros, better positioning themselves in the digital market. This has resulted from a study by the European Commission.

What then is preventing women from founding in the tech scene?

Jarna Heinonen is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Turku University in Finland and is examining gender questions in the founding scene. She explains the causes in the following way:

  • The stereotype: The successful entrepreneur is mostly portrayed as a white man of middle age. Everything that deviates from this image is odd as well as unnormal and will thus be treated accordingly. Founding women would therefore require a larger portion of self-confidence and a stronger demeanour than male colleagues to remain convincing.
  • The inclination: Women would generally still feel more attracted to jobs in health and the social sector. These sectors require no independent founding, since it is mostly the nation or the state who are the employers.
  • “Girls who code” initiator Reshma Saujani cites a further cause here: Upbringing. Girls are encouraged towards perfection, whereas boys are motivated to act bravely. Courage, above all, is therefore essential to achieving success as a foundress.

Non-profit organisations are counteracting the shortage of founding women

Saujani founded the non-profit organisation Girls who code, which now has 40,000 pupils in 150 clubs across North America. At their meetings, young women are schooled in STEM subjects, as well as computer sciences, and are also taught to code. In this way, women become familiar early with the tasks extant within tech companies. The variant for young grown-ups Women who code is active globally: There is even a branch in Berlin, which already has over 1,300 members. At best, these programs not only introduce young women to the tech scene, but also strengthen their self-confidence to later found something themselves.

Founding women: We are a part of Entrepreneurial Winning Women 2016

We are proud to also be part of an international program that supports founding women: The program Entrepreneurial Winning Women was created by the consulting firm EY. It provides founding women with experienced mentors and also networks its startups with one another. The program is initially set up for one year and includes specialties such as strengthening company management and placement of the company on the international market.
The management of EY said about the selected tech companies, such as Webdata Solutions:

“They were selected to join the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program because we believe they run businesses that have the potential to scale – and we want to help them to do it.”, Demet Ozdemir, Partner and EMEIA Strategic Growth Markets Leader at EY.

Webdata Solutions was started in 2012 by three confident women who worried less about their roles and perception on the tech scene, but instead believed firmly in their idea. Founder and Managing Partner, Carina Röllig, says of herself that she always wanted to set up and manage a company. Generally speaking, the question never arose as to whether the company should be managed by a woman or by a man. “The founding itself should always remain paramount”, she says. “Ultimately, it’s a strong team and a strong product that count”.

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