Some of you are checking this blog daily because I’ve promised I’ll be blogging while on WorldChicago professional fellowship (in Chicago, duh). I’ll keep you waiting a little bit more, this also isn’t one of these “here’s how my day’s been going” reports (btw, Maja does that).
Rather, it’s the copy/paste answer to this email from Milana from our fellowship:
My answer is below (excuse me for brevity and grammar mistakes, I actually copy/pasted it):
You want to hear my opinion, here you have it: it depends on what are your goals.
To me, entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs, regardless of gender, nationality, color of the skin etc. I’m sad when I see people putting tags on people based on any criteria. So along with this belief of mine, I see women entrepreneurship as a subgroup of entrepreneurship more bad than good. And because you might find it rude or strange, I need to explain why.
It’s not that I don’t want more women among entrepreneurs. It’s the opposite, I want more of you! And I also encourage that all hubs, places, organizations invite more women so we have more women in leading positions, starting companies etc. In my opinion, the bad thing I see happening is then taking this “women entrepreneurship” to the extremes: organizing female-only conferences, or accepting all female speakers at the conference, regardless of their expertise on the field or women saying on twitter that men should reject invitations to any podcast that didn’t feature a woman yet. These are just some of my real-life experiences related to women entrepreneurship. If we push it to the extremes, we’re both pulling more on both ends instead of bridging the gap and creating an environment where we don’t need to treat women entrepreneurship something special because it is a natural thing. And it should be a natural thing.
Yes, there should be female-oriented conferences and there should be more people both speaking in all kind of events and appearing at the podcasts. But in an inclusive way.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find it so sad and weird that we’re fighting against something that should not exist at all (inequality of women in tech/entrepreneurship etc). Being indifferent is my way of showing the world how everyone should behave towards this inequality. Because if we’re all indifferent then we’re all having the same chances and that’s all there is about it (it should be IMO).
And when I say I’m indifferent I mean indifferent to gender. I am not indifferent to people who go, do things and succeed. I cheer to entrepreneurship and one’s successes, but not based on how you look like or where you come from but based on what you’ve accomplished.
Lastly, I respect women entrepreneurs, I truly do and I hope I’m also acting this way. But the key thing is that you don’t want you to get any advantage over anyone else just because you’re a woman – I want and I hope I do treat all entrepreneurs equally based on their work and their efforts and their experiences and successes and failures. Because starting a business is hard and you can only succeed if you have no excuses and GO!
I’m for the world where women have equal opportunities as men do, but I don’t want to give women a reason to cry on my shoulder she didn’t make it because she’s a woman. I saw women who said ‘fuck off, I won’t weep’ and went ahead and tried it, did it and made it. One of them is you (because otherwise, you wouldn’t be here). And all the other women in our fellowship. You all have so healthy view on this topic and that’s one of the reasons why I like this fellowship and your company so much. I can tell this because I know women who are so feministic that they would never tolerate men around and blame men for all the things they cannot do in their lives. And that attitude is bad (even though I understand where it’s coming from) and usually, it’s related to “exclusive” women entrepreneurship.
More than welcome to talk more about this in person if you want to 🙂 hope you’ll get it right.
…on the other side…
Women entrepreneurship is a hot topic at the moment and therefore it’s much easier to get exposure, do marketing, fundraising etc.
Being laser-focused is so so important and good and has only upsides!
By all these means, I’d take advantage of that. There is a way of taking the best of both worlds. Let’s encourage you and other women to be entrepreneurs because you’re awesome and because we’ll all benefit from it!
You should follow me on twitter, here.