Emily Chang, Anchor and Executive Producer, Bloomberg TV

Getting More Women in Tech

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Photo clip of guest Deena Shakir of Lux Capital Partners on the screen of Bloomberg TV. The headline below her picture says,” International Women’s Day: What’s Left to Do to Bridge the Gaps.”

Watch: Closing the gender gap in tech and VC on Bloomberg TV 

Women make up half the population but receive only 2% of venture capital funding. Lux Capital Partner’s Deena Shakir talks with Bloomberg TV’s Emily Chang about whether things are looking up for women entrepreneurs, where things stand on women getting hired in the tech sector, and what more needs to be done to bridge the gender gap. 

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You’ll learn

  • Why Deena Shakir is optimistic that the needle is moving in the right direction

  • The role investors have in making sure women are giving their due, according to Deena 

  • The status of women in big tech and burgeoning tech and what the future looks like for women in this sector 

Who is this for?

Business Leaders

Host

Emily Chang Headshot
Emily Chang
Anchor and Executive Producer, Bloomberg TV

Guest speakers

Deena Shakir
Partner at Lux Capital 
Transcript

0:00 sodina they've already started compiling

0:01 the data for this year and it's no

0:03 better than it was last year two percent

0:07 which makes no sense of course when

0:08 women are half the population

0:10 what gives

0:12 well first of all happy international

0:14 women's day emily and thank you so much

0:16 for having me and for uh and for

0:18 bringing this important topic to the

0:19 conversation i am still hopeful and as i

0:22 told you last week i would actually say

0:23 i'm optimistic af

0:25 um the data is not quite up to date in

0:28 terms of where we are for 2022 at least

0:31 from what i'm seeing i think there is

0:33 still tremendous opportunity i have to

0:36 say and maybe i'm biased the companies

0:38 that i'm seeing are not only

0:41 solo women founders who are coming from

0:43 deeply technical and clinical fields but

0:46 across the board more diverse than i've

0:49 ever seen in prior years things are

0:51 changing and i expect the data to follow

0:53 suit

0:54 okay what about check writers like

0:56 yourself 14.

0:58 percent of czech writers now are women

1:01 we know that's critical to getting more

1:03 women and a greater diversity of ideas

1:06 funded but even that number i believe

1:08 it's up from like 11 a couple of years

1:10 ago it's moving so slowly

1:14 it really is and it's not enough i we

1:16 have a long way to go and there is data

1:18 which kaufman fellows has published

1:20 along with a plethora of other data

1:21 including from bloomberg on the

1:23 importance of cap table diversity not

1:26 only in terms of founding teams but on

1:28 the performance of those teams on the

1:30 performance of those boards on revenues

1:33 on faster time to exit so this is not

1:36 about diversity for diversity sake or

1:38 even for the sake of a holiday like

1:40 today it's fundamentally good for

1:42 business it's good for investors it's

1:44 good for lps and it's good for our

1:46 economy so we we really need to move the

1:48 needle here and i'm again excited to to

1:51 see all of the young talent that's

1:53 coming to the table people who may not

1:55 have considered a future inventor before

1:58 uh some of the role models that they've

1:59 had the chance to see elevated in recent

2:02 years

2:02 well women can't change the world alone

2:05 we're gonna need the help of men and i'm

2:06 curious in the board room are you seeing

2:09 male investors male check writers more

2:11 open to women founders or women ideas

2:14 you know or is it still the women

2:16 funding the smart breast pump or the

2:19 women's health tech

2:21 solution

2:22 not only am i seeing investors more open

2:25 to it i'm actually seeing incredible

2:26 companies that are innovating for women

2:29 in women's health and in other areas

2:31 that are founded by men

2:33 and some of those happen to be in my

2:35 portfolio and so i do think there's been

2:37 a tied shift there have been incredibly

2:39 competitive deals um that that we've had

2:41 the chance to participate in and many of

2:43 the folks coming to the table uh are are

2:45 men

2:46 and so it's really not a gendered

2:48 preference here i think it's folks are

2:49 starting to see that this is

2:51 fundamentally good for the world good

2:54 for our economy and and good for our

2:57 investors

2:58 what kind of role do you think investors

3:00 have on keeping the pressure on

3:03 especially for younger startups where

3:05 you are more involved making sure they

3:08 have diverse teams making sure they have

3:10 women on the board making sure that

3:12 women are promoted so that they don't

3:14 become

3:15 as sort of male dominated as the big

3:18 tech companies that have the power today

3:21 it's absolutely critical emily and it

3:23 has to start in the earliest days this

3:25 is not something where you can check the

3:26 box right before you go public and

3:28 decide to add uh you know a quote

3:30 unquote diverse member to your board

3:32 because it's uh it's required at that

3:34 point it really does need to be baked

3:36 into the dna of the company at the

3:37 founding stage and again i'm seeing that

3:40 happening even in new co-creation

3:42 in terms of the first hires in terms of

3:44 thoughtful founders who recognize the

3:47 importance of that

3:48 around the boardroom and around the cap

3:50 table as well it's very difficult to do

3:52 it thoughtfully if you wait too long

3:54 women make up 30 to 35 percent of

3:59 employees at big tech companies but it's

4:01 much smaller when you look at those

4:03 prime technical roles about 24 of those

4:06 top tech

4:07 engineering roles you know it's going to

4:09 take

4:10 years decades maybe for some of these

4:13 bigger companies to change it's like

4:15 trying to turn

4:16 the titanic

4:18 how optimistic are you for the next

4:20 generation of bigger

4:23 tech companies are we on the right

4:25 trajectory

4:26 yeah well speaking of data and 10 years

4:28 it was 10 years ago when i was at google

4:30 and and they first released their

4:32 diversity numbers when it specifically

4:34 when it comes to women in computer

4:35 science and technical roles and they

4:38 were dismal and uh following google a

4:41 number of the other large fangs also

4:43 released their numbers and there were

4:44 myriad efforts to address the gender gap

4:47 starting in elementary school i mean we

4:49 know now that these kind of biases and

4:51 self-perceptions can be formed as early

4:53 as 18 months of age so it's not

4:56 something that will move immediately and

4:58 quickly it's uh it's not that easy to

5:00 generate you know multiple phds

5:03 overnight we have to start that early

5:06 and not young we have to see characters

5:08 in tv shows that you know are

5:11 excellent engineers and happen to be

5:13 women not exceptional because they are

5:16 women we need to see those types of role

5:18 models on bloomberg tech which you do

5:21 constantly these this type of

5:23 representation is absolutely critical

5:24 and i think that we'll see that uh

5:26 precipitate over time in terms of the

5:28 numbers it won't happen quickly but it

5:30 can't happen quickly enough

5:32 we try but all of us even us can

5:34 certainly do better i want to ask about

5:36 some of the most rapidly growing parts

5:38 of the tech economy crypto web 3 for

5:41 example do you see um women

5:44 you know taking a fair share of the pie

5:46 in some of these burgeoning industries

5:47 because i think the narrative is that

5:49 some of these new

5:51 new tech

5:52 sub industries are still quite male

5:54 dominant quickly

5:56 in many cases they are but there are

5:58 incredible organizations coming to the

5:59 table like my bff that are working to

6:01 change that like women in the world and

6:03 like our new partner at lux grace who's

6:05 focused on web 3 among other things

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