In theory, venture capitalists are unusually smart people, given their responsibilities to deploy tens of millions of dollars on behalf of pension funds, university endowments and other investors. But then you read a story, like this one in The Information today, and it’s hard to avoid the feeling that there are at least a few not-so-smart Neanderthals in the VC community.
How is it possible that in this day and age a venture capitalist would tell a female founder to ditch entrepreneurship and focus on keeping her husband happy, as occurred to one founder, Keren Sachs? Or that another male investor would ask Sachs if she wanted to put her husband on the phone to help make a decision about an investment? The sexist attitudes inherent in these questions is undoubtedly why female-led creator-related startups got less than 5% of venture funding flowing to the sector—even though they make up one-fifth of the number of startups in the group. As our story says, what makes the funding gap particularly egregious is that most of the creators the startups are serving are women!