Female Tech Entrepreneurs Face Greater Challenges Than MenBy MBN Staff | Tue, 03/09/2021 - 11:36
While there has been some progress in gender equality in recent years, women still face greater obstacles than men in the labor market. In industries such as IT, for example, women face more obstacles than men, even in capital raising. Since 2010, only 43 percent of companies founded by women or by teams with at least one female founder have raised capital in this sector. Meanwhile, the rate for companies founded by men stands at 53 percent, revealed the study “The Gender Gap in Tech Entrepreneurship in Mexico City, Bogota and Buenos Aires: A Pending Task for the Ecosystem,” conducted by Endeavor and Mastercard.
According to the study, 84 percent of the women surveyed agree, to some degree, that they face more difficulties than men in the entrepreneurial process. Forty percent of them have been victims of some kind of discrimination, with gender issues accounting for 97 percent of the cases. The biggest obstacle, identified by the 96 women entrepreneurs surveyed, is funding, followed by work-life balance and the lack of relevant networking in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The pandemic, however, marked a turning point for women in the tech industry. According to the report, in 2020 women increased the size of their companies in this sector to 50 or more employees compared to 2019, mainly in the apps, healthtech and technology services sub-sectors. “Through their knowledge, vision and performance, women became drivers of progress and economic growth. Do not take my word for it but believe the Fortune 500, which shows that companies with the highest levels of gender diversity in senior management positions perform up to 35 percent better than those with the lowest levels,” said Mastercard Mexico CEO Laura Cruz in a statement.
Education also plays a key role for women in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In Mexico, only 38 percent of women study science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) related careers, compared to 54 percent of men. According to the Endeavor and Mastercard report, although having STEM skills is not a key determinant for entrepreneurship in the sector, such a profile can make a difference and could increase women's self-confidence and encourage them to become tech entrepreneurs, boosting their participation in the workforce.