Receiving the Exceptional Woman In Publishing Award
We all know the numbers:
Women may own 40 percent of the private businesses in the United States, but they create only 8 percent of the venture-backed tech start-ups.
Women account for just 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, and 22 percent of the software engineers at tech companies over all.
It doesn’t help matters that of all venture capitalists, just 14 percent are women.
I am not going to be able to speak on the topic of women and technology, why there aren’t more of us in the tech business, why we aren’t running more companies, etc.
I can only speak about my own experience and observations starting and running one small tech-ish company in New York City, mediabistro.com
I am not an engineer; but I did learn how to build a company heavily reliant upon tech and I did learn how to manage engineers.
FROM A SPEECH GIVEN at the NEW MEDIA WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS SUMMIT:
Not so long ago, I was one of you, an editor and writer, who had worked for many years in the media and saw my calling as something halfway between beat reporter at BusinessWeek and novelist, monkishly writing atop some mountaintop – or (more likely) in a local East Village café.
If someone had told me “one day, Laurel, you’re going to start a company, hire and manage 40 people, grow it to millions of dollars in sales and sell it for millions more?” I would have said “You’re out of your mind! I don’t even want that. Just give me a shot at Harper’s.”
But, I’m here to say that going from THERE to HERE is NOT a crazy impossible road to follow. If a math idiot with no understanding of finance, no tech chops, no prior experience managing a team — much less running a company — can do this, then anybody can!