When there are nine
You can’t be what you can’t see, and I see a lack of women leaders in my industry.
Despite good intentions from most people, unconscious bias and structural inequality still leads us to a world where women and minorities are extremely underrepresented in Silicon Valley. We can do better.
After being in this industry for almost a decade, I’ve learned that given the existing inequalities, the only way to make real change is to go out of your way to do so. It’s important to acknowledge that there is already bias in your criteria, whether for hiring, promoting, or investing. So you must go out of your way to champion women and underrepresented minorities.
I don’t tweet about it a lot, but I’m an active angel investor. In the last three years, I’ve made nine investments, and three of them were in companies with women CEOs. 33% doesn’t feel good enough, though sadly this is likely higher than the ratio for most venture firms and angels. So I’ve decided to take it one step further.
I’m committing that the next nine angel investments I make will only be in companies run by women CEOs, without exception.
Recently, I’ve become a Sequoia Scout, so some of my investments will involve Sequoia’s capital. But my promise to only invest in women stands whether or not the funds are from my personal capital or Sequoia’s.
I think Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg sums it up quite nicely: