The current situation of women entrepreneurs in tech startups is slowly changing. Women leaders are taking over the initiative and launching tech startups. They are beating the statistics by establishing constantly growing startups. Female CEOs are still a minority compared to men in technology owning only 5% of tech startups, but they inspire future generations for changes and women empowerment.
There are many tech startups founded by women, which have exceeded those established by men. Studies show that the reason behind the success lies in the innovative approach of women in tech. Women beat men by 5% in presenting and selling a product due to their unique and innovative way of placing the product on the market. Also, it is not only their approach but also the idea or created product which sells for itself.
Statistics also show that “Female-owned businesses hire more women (25%) than their male counterparts do (22%), according to the World Bank”. Therefore, we can add that women entrepreneurs create teams which embrace gender diversity in the workplace. Hiring more female software engineers in technology is good for business and success, reaching to a wider range of clients and customers.
Nevertheless, women in tech who have stepped forward into this male-dominated field have faced many difficulties. One of the drawbacks is that “On average, female-led startups receive 23% less money than male-run firms, and are 30% less likely to have a positive exit, according to the OECD”, writes ITU News. The lack of funds women entrepreneurs get is one of the reasons the percentage of female CEOs in startups is low. However, those women who have overcome such obstacles have created startups men can learn from.
Women in Tech Are Successful Because of Their Unique Set of Skills
Running a successful startup requires a lot of hard work, dedication, time and a unique set of skills. Many young IT girls are asking themselves how to make it into the tech world, confronting the majority of males. According to Harvard Business Review, the women in STEM who are successful, differ because of their:
- Confidence- Having confidence in a hostile or competitive environment is the most important attribute every successful woman in tech has. Men are encouraged to be on top of this field, as being “naturally born” negotiators and leaders. Women, on the other hand, have to “fight against” this perception and the system in order to succeed. If they are self-doubting, their chances to make it in a tech startup are very low.
- Ideas- Women entrepreneurs have innovative ideas which they turn into reality. It is not about only having great ideas, but also having the ability to realize them. Successful women always realize their ideas because of their persistence, planning, negotiating and management.
- Network- Investing your time, money and patience into building a network of influential and knowledgeable acquaintances always pays off in the world of business. A successful woman in tech wouldn’t disregard networking because it brings results in the long run.
- Authenticity-Pretending and being fake is what turns people away! Female CEOs owe their success to being their true, authentic selves which is the perfect advice young women should follow.
- Willingness to go above and beyond their jobs- If you are passionate about your job, see the higher purpose of your job and just go above and beyond what is required you are definitely on the right track. Most women in tech wouldn’t have been on top without passion.
The Number of Female Tech Ceos Is Growing: Global Initiatives
Female entrepreneurship has been growing globally, despite the gender gap which is still present in 2018. However, there are several initiatives worth mentioning which have made a significant impact, improving the position of women entrepreneurs in tech startups.
- Women in Technology International is a global organization, aiming to transform the perception of women in corporations and the media. They also create a pipeline of women being the future leaders of America. Their mission is to provide resources for young IT girls to choose business and technology careers.
- Scandinavian Women: The Female Investor Meetup in Scandinavia has the purpose of getting more women into leadership and investing. They are aiming to increase the number of female CEOs in tech by providing support for female-founded startups. Their initiatives have seen an increase in the percentage for 8% in the last 8 years.
- Adeva’s Women: The Female CEO and Co-Founder of our tech startup Adeva, Katerina Trajchevska involves many young IT women in tech. Through the unconventional recruitment processes at her startup, female software engineers and developers have an advantage before the competition of men. We are also providing mentoring programs for IT girls as part of a volunteering practice. In order to get a grip of our initiatives, check the Female Bootcamp 2018 call.
- Women in Tech: The non-profit organization believes that women in tech should help each other and support professionally. They have a full schedule of events providing educational materials, job fairs for women and leadership awards for entrepreneurship. Women in tech aim to help their members make a leap from “the classroom to the boardroom”, as their motto.
- Bankrate: Transitioning to a STEM career can be pricey. If you want to mitigate career-change expenses, Bankrate offers personal loans, valuable scholarships, and grants specifically for women in STEM.
Female Entrepreneur Successful Startup Stories
There are so many successful tech startup stories of women entrepreneurs nowadays. Due to the global initiatives mentioned above, there are worldwide efforts in order to improve the status of female software engineers in the tech world. As a result, women who code should take a risk and accomplish their goals in being leaders.
The story of the youngest female CEO of a $1 billion tech startup.
Our all-time favorite young tech CEO is the Australian 30-year old entrepreneur Melanie Perkins, Co-founder of Canva. Canva was named the coolest tech startup company of 2015, founded by Mel who started when she was a 22 years old university graduate. Her motivational speech at the Sunrise Conference in 2016 talks about the achievement of her dreams including a lot of hard work, persistence and dealing with failure. She encourages women entrepreneurs not to be put down, but learn from their mistakes and keep going forward. Melanie says that insecurities come from comparing ourselves and all the ups and downs of our startup journey with the highlights of the already booming businesses. Surpassing that perception leads women to the two truths concerning success: “It’s possible” & “It’s hard”, she says at the Sunrise Conference. Young IT girls should know that they can realize their ideas, through hardship and constant attempts.
RoboTerra - The software which helps kids build their own robots & learn to code.
When you first find about RoboTerra and the “whole robot-learning-toy-story” you will definitely connect the initial idea with boys and men. However, the “great mind” behind it is Yao Zhang, a female entrepreneur of this innovative tech startup. People know Yao for her boldness, ambition and strong work ethic. She says that she has sacrificed many things in order to achieve success and be on top of her career. Her advice for young girls to succeed in the male-dominated tech world for Forbes, is: “To start something big, you have to be bold. Very, very bold.” Yao has fought against many accusations being perceived as “bossy” for her boldness. However, she claims that if men can be bold and respected, so can she.
What do women entrepreneurs have to say?
We are also sharing some powerful quotes by inspirational women in tech who have exceeded the limitations that women entrepreneurs face. They should serve women as an example to be persistent and brave in achieving their goals.
- Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code:
“I also say to my team: Do 10% of your job shittily. It’s okay to do something shittily. Perfectionism prevents us from taking double steps in our career. We think we have to be perfect, but we don’t.”
- Vanessa Hurst, Co-Founder of Girl Develop It:
“Feeling a little uncomfortable with your skills is a sign of learning, and continuous learning is what the tech industry thrives on! It’s important to seek out environments where you are supported, but where you have the chance to be uncomfortable and learn new things.”
- Silvina Moschini, Founder of SheWorks:
“Today $17 Trillion dollars worldwide is lost as a result of women leaving their jobs for lack of flexible, transparent and viable options. The market needs innovative solutions to transform the world of work—that’s what we’ve created with SheWorks!”, she said for BusinessTut+.
To sum up, women in tech are still not as dominant as males. However, there are some amazing role models who young IT girls can look up to. What do women need to succeed in the startup world?
- Every woman in tech can be successful if she has the required set of skills.
- Running a startup is not an easy job. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, sacrifice and sleepless nights. However, there are many women entrepreneurs who possess the right work ethic and have made it in the tech world.
- Female CEOs are scaling their businesses, delivering higher revenues even though the funding of their startups is way lower than what male CEOs get.
- The global initiatives of getting more women in tech and more women entrepreneurs are showing significant results. Those are ways of helping girls in tech with education, internships, finding jobs as well as becoming future CEOs.