Gender balanced teams

By Steve Blanks via steveblank.com   Article

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show

Chris Shipley is executive producer of MIT’s Solve initiative, through which business, technology, policy and philanthropic leaders work together to identify and solve to some of the world’s biggest challenges. A former tech journalist, Chris has built a career identifying innovative startups that create markets and drive positive and disruptive change. As the executive producer of the DEMO conference from 1996 to 2009, she helped more than 1,500 companies make their market debut.

Her 30-year career gives her keen insights to the startup world, how it works and what has changed.

Among the topics she addressed was gender bias in startups:
All the data point to the fact that gender balanced teams outperform imbalanced teams, whether they’re all men, or all women. …You have to be an idiot as an investor not to demand that the team be balanced because that will put your company in a better place.

I think it’s easy to say, ‘These are my friends from college, and we’re going to start a company.  … These are the women I was in a sorority with … We’ll start a company.’ Neither of those teams is going to be optimized for success. When you bring different perspectives to bear, I think you start to have a better company, and a better culture.

… It’s (not just about gender but about perspective generally. I know that there are a lot of … ‘fill in the blank”’and technology, or ‘fill in the blank’ and startups. It’s women and technology, and women and venture, women and entrepreneurship. I think it’s just entrepreneurs. It’s just startups. It’s just business.

I have not made my way through 30 plus years in this industry by being a woman and an entrepreneur. I’ve done it by being an entrepreneur, by being a journalist, by trying to be a thought leader. I think that you just have to do it. I think that you have to demand, the respect, and part of that is by earning it, and working hard.”

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