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Sally Riley

I think of Jean who raised five kids, quite successfully, and raised a business at the same time, to an outstanding success also! She sits on the Bank Board of Directors and has a wonderful life. She started, developed, and ran the business, all while raising 5 children.
And make no mistake. She was the one who had the business sense and the chutzpah. She is just a personal example. There are many Jeans out there.

Penelope Trunk

Hi, there. I think you misunderstand the post I wrote. There is a very heated debate going on at TechCrunch about why women do not get venture capital funding. I am addressing this question. So, already, very few women are even asking for this funding, and a higher percentage of women than men who ask actually get the funding.

So the issue is not one of inequality. (Those topics have already been addressed on the TechCrunch blog.) The issue is that people want to know why women don't ask for venture capital.

Also, I'm not sure you are making a distinction between starting a business (more women than men start businesses in the US) and taking in venture capital. It is very, very different.

My post talks about answering the question of venture capital. Your post, on the other hand, talks about all different sorts of scenarios that do not apply to the argument.

It would be like saying: more women in medical school go into opthalmalogy than neurosurgery. Why is that? The answer is that the neurosurgery hours are terrible and the opthalmalogy hours are great. It's not complicated. And I'm saying the same thing about why women start regular businesses but not venture funded businesses.



Thank you, Penelope, for reading my post and for responding. While you highlight some ways in which you feel my post doesn't address your main point, you seem to be missing mine: I feel you've done women like me a grave disservice in painting the scene as you did (women's desire for procreation > women's desire for venture-backed business). Platitudes like that are dangerous things. Among other issues, they pose a problem especially for my childless girlfriends seeking venture backing who don't deserve to be put in a bucket with those who prioritize child-rearing over their business. If a VC reads your piece and is faced with a "momtrepreneur" -- or someone who isn't yet of age to have kids but is suspected to be interested in going that route someday because of her gender -- is that VC going to be more or less likely to fund her? As well, are women going to read that and say: "She's right. It's too hard. I should just stay home and have babies." What have you done for women, here, except give them pause in seeking funding and give investors pause before giving it? (Acknowledged, you did not write this piece to "do" anything for women, but the potential consequences of such a piece must be addressed.) As my family lives in the world of start-ups and VCs, I am aware of the issues you raise -- but my problem isn't in you offering an answer to a question. An answer is different from a solution, and, to that end, I don't see one forthcoming from you because of the path you've chosen for yourself. That's not wrong in any way, of course, but that doesn't address the global concern I have here: how do we get more women in business, venture-backed and otherwise, and, moreover, how do we get the corporate world to show some family-friendliness? I feel like you don't believe the latter can happen, and that is the button I wish to push. I believe it can, if women who've made it there can pave the way rather than giving up.

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