capital community acknowledges an implicit bias towards white males, which presents a barrier for both women and men of color. This, she argued, is demonstrated by the fact that only 3 percent of all venture capital funding goes to companies with women CEOs, with 44 percent of those women-led firms located in the healthcare sector.
Giordan further noted that the best predictor of success for entrepreneurial women is confidence; women with greater opportunities for professional networking were also more successful and satisfied with their jobs, as compared to peers with fewer professional networking opportunities. She commented that male and female perceptions may play a large role in advancement and opportunity development. Specifically, male managers perceive more of an even playing field for women to advance than do female managers. Additionally, female managers have more positive perceptions of women’s attitudes toward advancement than male managers. Giordan noted that male managers overestimated the amount of home-related stress experienced by women relative to the amount of conflict reported by women themselves. She suggested that this leads to women being passed-over for career opportunities because of perceived time constraints induced by family responsibilities. She urged women to gain confidence, consider themselves as equals, and be proactive in invoking change. Giordan stressed the importance of diversity and its ability to lead organizations to better decisions and better actions. Women and men may differ in their propensity for collaboration, seeking long-term results, competition, and risk-taking, but these attributes are all valuable, and a balance among them is imperative.
Social entrepreneurship, for-profit entrepreneurship, and intrapreneurship all require change. Giordan emphasized that in order to create change, women need to be proactive and take action. She stressed that it is critical that women build both personal and business value to develop entrepreneurial credibility. Giordan emphasized the importance of understanding personal motivations and objectives; service driven ventures are valuable and legitimate, for example, but they do not lead to profits comparable to those produced by venture capital funds for other industries. She noted that for women aiming to succeed in the latter, they need to seek early-stage funding. Less than 10 percent of all angel funding proposals were submitted by women, but were funded at equal rates to men, suggesting that women need to ask more frequently in order to close the gender gap.
Lucinda Sanders reflected briefly on the status of women in information technology (IT) companies, where women start less than 5 percent of all new companies, hold less than 5 percent of all IT patents, and occupy less than 5 percent of all corporate technology leadership positions. Looking forward, Sanders discussed her observations from a series of interviews with women serial entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and social entrepreneurs. During the 40 interviews conducted with successful technical women, Sanders noted that the interviewees consistently touched on the following themes.
• They did not recognize themselves as successful in math and science as young girls, but rather evolved into technical innovators at later career stages.
• All cited the importance of mentors, beginning with their parents and recognized mentors who aided in starting ventures, risk-taking, and power-sharing.