Women and start-ups
You can say want you want, but: women are shaping the future – in every area. Why shouldn’t technical innovation be included?
According to an assessment of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), women are still underrepresented in engineering and the technical sciences, physics, chemistry, and computer science as well – and when they do have the appropriate degree in their pocket, companies happily employ them in permanent positions. So, there is no reason for them to found their own companies. Or is there? Is that why there are so few female founders of innovative start-ups? Or is it in fact due to the reasons often stated when talking about the professional independence of women: they fear a lack of support from the family, a lack of initial financing, and losing control of the household. Really? Well, for those of you who do not believe this, would the argument of a lack of willingness to take risks make more sense?
“Well, to be honest, the fact that I am a woman is completely irrelevant”, says Adriana while laughing and shaking her head in perplexity. For the entrepreneur, this aspect is completely incidental – and not work wasting any more thought on. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy nevertheless sees a special need to support women and started the “WOMEN’S Entrepreneurship” initiative in October, 2014. Already successful “model women entrepreneurs” are intended to inspire women and girls for the job profile of an “entrepreneur” and encourage them to found their own start-ups because “Germany cannot do without the creativity of women” according to Sigmar Gabriel. “To remain competitive and ensure economic growth over the long term, we need a fresh breeze and the good business ideas of women entrepreneurs, their determination, and their perseverance in difficult situations”, says the federal minister. And in fact, it actually seems to have set something in motion. The German Startup Monitor 2015 announced a positive development: the number of women entrepreneurs is increases according to the results, and around 13% of entrepreneurs are female. That’s a start. Why women nevertheless found less than 10% of the start-ups in the technology sector and are generally underrepresented in this area is the question the French journalist and filmmaker Nora Poggi asks herself. For her film “She started it”, she met with successful women entrepreneurs as well as female students in schools and universities and asked them about their paths, experiences, goals, and visions – and in fact met a “next generation of women founders”. Adriana and Vita from FoPo do not understand all the fuss about the question of women founders. “Maybe women do it differently than men, but in the end it doesn’t matter – as long as we conquer the global market.” Exactly.