To say that women are underrepresented in the world of technology and entrepreneurship would be an understatement. Further, the opportunities afforded to the females who are able to break into his realm are scarce. Sound familiar?
Let's put things in perspective with a few statistics. 37% of all entrepreneurs are females. That's actually a higher number than many would think, even though it's not as high as it should be. However, while 37 out of every 100 entrepreneurs are females, only 7% of investor funds actually go to these women entrepreneurs.
This means that under 3% of female entrepreneurs run venture-backed companies. However, while women are grossly underrepresented, female entrepreneurs bring in 20% more revenue, on average, with 50% less money invested.
The data doesn't lie. Females aren't only capable entrepreneurs, but they actually perform better than their male counterparts. Now, being a man myself (but working with many females, including the co-founder of Xcelerate Financial Katherine Gaffney), I'm not here to debate who is better than who.
However, there is a very real problem that needs to be addressed. And that is ensuring female entrepreneurs get their fair share. To help, I've compiled 5 high impact quotes from some of the most successful businesswomen around. Hopefully, this will give you some insight into persevering and succeeding against the odds. Because that's what startups are all about, right?
1. Tory Burch
"I think you can have it all. You just have to know it's going to work." - Tory Burch, Chairman and CEO of Tory Burch, LLC.
Sometimes when we're up against tough odds, it takes some blind belief in yourself to come out victorious. If you believe you can have it, then chances are you'll get it eventually. It doesn't mean you won;t have to work hard, but if you work hard enough, the sky's the limit.
2. J.K. Rowling
"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all--in which case, you fail by default." - J.K. Rowling, Author
To Tory Burch's point above, you can have it all, but if you want it all you're going to have to take risks. If you stop yourself from starting your business just because women are underrepresented, then you fail by default. Instead, embrace the challenges and try your hardest, because there is no failure in a valiant attempt.
3. Debbie Fields
"Good enough usually isn't." - Debbie Fields, Founder of Mrs. Fields Bakery.
This is especially true for minorities. Never settle for good enough. Instead, set the bar so high that people will be unable to ignore you.
4. Clara Barton
"I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man's work for less than a man's pay." - Clara Barton, Founder of American Red Cross.
This is raw and real advice. When you're going out to start your company, don't settle for second best just because the industry standard mandates it. Instead, walk into every meeting knowing your worth, and be confident about how worthy you are.
5. Shelia Lirio Marcelo
"I think in terms of evolutions, not revolutions. Failure is not part of my vocabulary." - Shelia Lirio Marcelo, Founder of Care.com
I think that this is the perfect way to end. Change doesn't always come in a huge revolution. Often times it comes after years of smaller evolutions. Therefore, it's imperative that you jump into the arena of entrepreneurship and stay there. Think of yourself as one small evolution that will result in the much larger revolution. It's up to you!
Note: Xcelerate Financial's own Katherine Gaffney will be speaking at June's Women's Voices in Tech event on June 5th in Los Angelens. Contact us using the contact form for a chance to win free or discounted tickets to the event!