LINK: We Recorded VCs’ Conversations and Analyzed How Differently They Talk About Female Entrepreneurs (by Malin Malmstrom, Jeaneth Johansson, and Joakim Wincent for Harvard Business Review)
…We were given access to government venture capital decision-making meetings in Sweden and were able to observe the types of language that VCs used over a two-year period. One major thing stuck out: The language used to describe male and female entrepreneurs was radically different. And these differences have very real consequences for those seeking funding — and for society in general.
Aside from a few exceptions, the financiers rhetorically produce stereotypical images of women as having qualities opposite to those considered important to being an entrepreneur, with VCs questioning their credibility, trustworthiness, experience, and knowledge.
Conversely, when assessing male entrepreneurs, financiers leaned on stereotypical beliefs about men that reinforced their entrepreneurial potential. Male entrepreneurs were commonly described as being assertive, innovative, competent, experienced, knowledgeable, and having established networks.
Unsurprisingly, these stereotypes seem to have played a role in who got funding and who didn’t….
What do you think?