Unfortunately, it’s no secret that language is subtly but dangerously gendered. Women are “bossy” while men are “assertive.” Women are “past their prime” while men are “distinguished” and “experienced.”
Obviously there is not some overhead conspiracy against women, but there remains a subconscious bias in the way that genders are discussed and the list of tilted adjectives goes on.
A recent study by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) was designed to examine the financial decision making process for government venture capitalists in Sweden, who take tax revenue and strategically invest it back into the Swedish economy by funding entrepreneurial innovations. But in the course of analyzing the recorded conversations of 125 decisive, closed-room meetings, HBR uncovered an unsettling, unquestionable disparity between the language used to evaluate male and female entrepreneurs.
Over a two year period, HBR observed, recorded, and transcribed the kinds of language seven VCs (five men and two women) used to talk about male and female entrepreneurs.
The transcriptions underwent a meticulous translation process into English, and were then analyzed to pull out words and phrases used to describe the entrepreneurial hopefuls, including comments on appearance and capability.
Using these comments, HBR developed profiles of the average male and female entrepreneur, as described by the government VCs. The gender bias nothing but striking.
The average male entrepreneur sounds pretty great. He is:
- “young and promising”
- “arrogant, but very impressive competence”
- “aggressive, but a really good entrepreneur”
- “experienced and knowledgeable”
- A “very competent innovator and already has money to play with”
- “cautious, sensible, and level headed”
- “extremely capable and very driven”
Hard to say no to that entrepreneur’s business! And what about that female entrepreneur over there? Well, she’s . . .
- “young, but inexperienced”
- Lacking “network contacts and in need of help to develop her business concept”
- “enthusiastic, but weak”
- “experienced, but worried”
- “good looking and careless with money”
- “too cautious and does not dare”
- Lacking “ability for venturing and growth”
To summarize, men are competent, knowledgeable, sensible, and capable. Women need help, and they’re weak, good looking, careless, and too cautious. Positive qualities in men become negatives in women. And for the love of money, why does it matter what she looks like??
HBR points out that this sub-conscious gendered language isn’t just a bad sign for gender equality – it’s also a bad sign for the economy, since bias could be preventing the best ventures from getting the funding they deserve.
In Sweden, about a third of all businesses are owned and run by women, but female-owned businesses receive only 13 to 18 percent of all government venture capital funding.
Thankfully, after HBR presented their bonus findings to the government VCs, new regulations were put in place to help combat that damaging bias. But we still have a long way to go before women business owners are both fairly funded and fairly represented – bias creates major inertia, often discouraging disadvantaged groups for going after their goals in the first place. Raising awareness is the first step, but really, we’re aware already! Let’s do something about it.
Cowrkr gives you accountability while you work solo
(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) Being accountable for your own accountability is a tall order. Join Cowrkr and let someone else do it for you.
My boyfriend and I have always had a great appreciation for film and television, as well as the writing that goes into it. We always talk about different project ideas, but never get too far in execution with the busyness of real life.
Last night, I finally thought of a way that we can help each other bring our projects to completion, and that is simply by holding each other accountable. I suggest that each week we could have a new task that is due by 10 p.m. Sunday night.
We both have ideas for scripts, so the plan is to start off with having a plot synopsis and character list due the first week, having an outline due the second week, and so on. This will not only help keep us on track but will also help in terms of formatting ideas.
While I’m grateful that this little plan has come together, I know that most people aren’t working on similar projects to people they are close with. Therefore, they may need to look elsewhere for accountability.
Now freelancers and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to be matched with a fellow freelancer or entrepreneur to help hold each other accountable for their respective projects. Meet Cowrkr.
“This is an initiative to help makers keep themselves socially accountable by getting them to build publicly,” says cowrkr developers.
Users sign up and give some info regarding what project they’re working on and what they’re shipping. It works by connecting two makers at a time and cowrkr works to help each maker keep the other accountable until each project is completed.
Once a project has been completed, the makers then end their accountability relationship. When their next project comes along, they will then be assigned a different maker.
Cowrkr’s website does not give a ton of insight as to how the algorithms and matching systems work, but it is an intriguing idea for freelancers and entrepreneurs looking to take their individual projects to the next level.
The top 10 startup cities in America
(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) If you’re thinking about launching a startup anytime soon you may want to check out this list on the top 10 cities for startups.
The digital revolution is in full swing, and some cities are setting themselves up to capitalize upon these innovations by supporting startups.
In order to “better understand the U.S. cities driving the digital revolution,” several groups have come together to rank which cities are making the most of the tech startup boom.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1776, the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center, and FreeEnterprise.com have teamed up to publish a report called Innovation That Matters (ITM).
The report analyzes and ranks U.S. cities on such factors as startup capital, the connectivity of startups, startup culture, the availability of worker talent and specialization, and more. Data was taken from surveys of entrepreneurs and businesspeople, startups, and leaders in public and private sectors.
J.D. Harrison, senior director of strategic communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that the “digital revolution has the potential to make winners of some cities and leave others behind.”
The study aims to find out which cities “embrace this shift to a digital economy and actively support technology startups,” arguing that these cities “will be the best positioned to unleash the power of high-impact innovation and cultivate vibrant, thriving communities.”
The top ten ranking cities are as follows:
10) Portland, Oregon because every city needs a nickname, has been dubbed the Silicon Forest, referencing its leadership in green tech.
9) New York City, New York. The largest tech hub on the east coast.
8) Seattle, Washington. Home to Amazon.com and several other tech firms, with Microsoft’s headquarters in nearby Redmond.
7) Dallas, Texas. Dtown moved up significantly by increasing startup connectivity and tapping into a large, diverse workforce.
6) Atlanta, Georgia. The “most improved” city on the ITM list, moving up 15 places to number six due to a surge in financial, educational, and health tech industries.
5) Austin,Texas. Home of The American Genius, Austin has become a “haven for tech-savvy millennials seeking good-paying job opportunities.” Besides hosting many tech startups, Austin still has a relatively affordable cost of living.
4) San Diego, California. San Diego is full of cybersecurity, Big Data, robotics, and software startups.
3)Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Also known as Philicon Alley, moved up from number eight by deregulating and becoming more business-friendly.
2) San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay also ranked number two last year. The seaside neighbor to the Silicon Valley has been doing a great job attracting seed funding these days.
1) Boston, Massachusetts. This is the second year in a row that Boston has topped this list, due to its large number of startups and robust entrepreneur population.
How does your city rank?
Customer surveys tell more than just satisfaction
(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) While they can be annoying for the consumer and cost time for the company, customer feedback surveys are crucial to your business.
While Richard Dawson, Louie Anderson, and Steve Harvey may not be able to personally help you with customer service, what they have in common can. Surveys, and personalized follow-up attention in general, help clients and consumers know that they mean something to your business.
For the sake of this article (and the fast-paced, technological world we live in) I am going to be speaking about surveys. However, I want to share this anecdote first.
I used to work front desk at a salon and part of my job was to follow up with new guests about a week after their appointment.
Now, most of the time, my calls went to voicemail, which were never returned; but every once in awhile a human answered.
After going through the spiel of why I was calling, I could almost always sense a sound of surprise from the other line before the person answered my question. One conversation in particular left me realizing how important this seemingly useless task was.
I called an older woman and asked her about a recent appointment she had at the salon. She thanked me for calling and then went into detail about how great the appointment was and how much getting her hair done meant to her.
Before we hung up she said, “thank you again for calling. A salon has never done this before.” It then hit me like a ton of bricks just how significant something as small as a callback is.
If you have the time, definitely make those callbacks to clients as it could be very meaningful. However, it’s understandable that most of us may not have the time in our schedule for personalized phone calls.
So if that’s the case, don’t forget about surveys. I know most of them will either go to spam or go unanswered, but the mere fact that you’re sending it out shows clients and customers that you care about their business.
And, for those surveys that do receive responses, it can be extremely beneficial for your company as you can get insight into what works and what doesn’t. There’s really no disadvantage to this tactic, so remember to make time for that follow up with existing clients rather than just focusing on getting new ones.
9 ways to be more LGBTQIA+ inclusive at work
A real life robot battle: America vs Japan
“Starting a business is easy,” said only one guy ever
Time is money and Clockify helps you make the most
Cowrkr gives you accountability while you work solo
A few smarties are trying to create space cryptocurrency via Bitcoin
Microsoft’s Autism Hiring program really is driving innovation
LL Bean just stole the show with their invisible ink ad in the NYT
iPhone 8 Plus devices allegedly split open while charging #splitgate
Does creativity die as we age? Science says sorta
Amy’s Ice Cream founder on Austin’s business risks and rewards #WhyAustin
Turns out a lot of people are in between introverted and extroverted
P. Terry’s founder on the booming economy in Austin #WhyAustin
Ladies and gentlemen, the U.S. National Anthem
Indeed President, Chris Hyams tells us #WhyAustin [video]
News neatly in your inbox
Join thousands of AG fans and SUBSCRIBE to get business and tech news updates, breaking stories, and MORE!
Thank you for subscribing.
Oh boy... Something went wrong.
Business Entrepreneur5 days ago
The top 10 startup cities in America
Tech News6 days ago
Who’s kissing who? Self driving cars edition
Business News6 days ago
Zuckerberg used VR to highlight hurricane Maria destruction
Tech News1 day ago
Russia vetoed cryptocurrency and came back with CryptoRuble
Business News2 days ago
Ending a dismal year, Samsung says goodbye to CEO
Business News5 days ago
Identity-protecting roller stamps are a must for any office
Business News1 day ago
These stores refuse to start Black Friday early
Tech News6 days ago
Be My Eyes app offers eyes to those that need ’em