“Investors must not change anything in their process or it will no longer be meritocratic.”
Existing investment processes are not meritocratic since they are biased against women:
Women with a technical background are more likely to be challenged by investors. One example among others that increasing technical education is absolutely not enough. Similarly, women without a technological background are more penalized in terms of lifting than men, who also do not have a technological background.
The "affinity bias", investors invest in those who resemble them... Big problem when there are less than 8% women and 2% racialized minorities in the investment teams. However - and this result is edifying - the more investors share a racial and educational background... the less good their results are! (HBS study)
Investors penalize behaviours considered female in pitch (Babson College study)
Investors do not ask the same questions to men and women and these differences lead to different investment decisions... and in particular on the amounts raised, which are then 7 times lower! (HBS study)
Investors prefer pitchs presented by men rather than women with identical content! (Harvard study, Wharton, MIT)
As for start-ups run by women, when they have managed to be financed by a VC fund, their chances of success decrease by 25% when the fund does not have female partners... Hence the importance of recruiting more women into investment teams (Harvard study)
VCs stereotypically question women founders, their credibility, experience, and knowledge, where men are almost systematically judged as innovative, creative, competent and experienced (Swedish University Lulea Institute study).
“Have you seen everything you've already achieved in 50 years? Equality is no longer an issue.”
In 2018, women have produced 66% of the world's work and 50% of the world's food, but received only 10% of income and 1% of property... and account for 70% of global poverty. 5.6% of the world's heads of state are women and 4.8% are CEO of a Fortune 500 company. At this rate, equal treatment of men and women in work and politics around the world will not be achieved for 217 years (World Economic Forum).
“There is no problem in women's financing today.”
92% of VC partners are men. Women represent between 9 and 12.4% of startup executives in France. In terms of raising, they account for 2.2% of the world VC's money, 7% of the amount raised in France (angels, platforms and VC). If we look at the fundraising financed by the top 9 French VC funds, this gives 88.3% of men, 2.6% of women, 9.1 of mixed teams.
“Entrepreneurship is not about women, you shouldn't try to turn women into men.”
The entrepreneurial gene does not exist. No biological differences in male and female brains in ambition, math or risk-taking could be scientifically established.
On the other hand, the sociological construction of gender and discrimination has been demonstrated first philosophically (examples: Bourdieu or Beauvoir to name only the best-known) and then measured more recently, particularly in the United States and in the Nordic countries where behavioural sciences are more developed than here (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT and many others have dedicated research centres and work extensively on gender).
“Fighting systemic discrimination reduces the merit of successful women, it’s no longer meritocratic.”
On the contrary! SISTA's proposals make the entrepreneurial process more meritocratic. A meritocratic system is defined by a direct link between merit and success. Systemic discrimination directly undermines this ideal. Women encounter more systemic obstacles on their way than men (see previous argument). Tackling these obstacles is a condition of meritocracy, currently at two speeds.
Unless we think that female meritocracy is about overcoming socially constructed obstacles that men do not encounter, which would be unfair.
“ You're implying that investors are sexist ! We would like to have more women in our portfolios, but we can't!”
The biases that women suffer from from investors in investment processes are so-called "unconscious" biases. Unconscious bias is a bias, a default programming, specific to the human brain. There is a lot of work in AI that tries to eliminate bias in recruitment processes by programming machines that do not have it.
We all have unconscious biases. Good will can do nothing against them, only the implementation of systematic processes can eliminate them. For example, by forcing himself to ask exactly the same questions to men as to women during pitch sessions.
“Solving gender gap is all about women’s education”
This statement is contradicted by all scientific studies on the weight of unconscious bias on the part of investors.
For example, by training women to react better to the different questions asked in pitch, the gap in terms of amount raised can be reduced from x7 to x2. That is good, but again, without the efforts of investors, education is still not enough. SISTA enthusiastically supports all initiatives that encourage girls' entrepreneurship and scientific career choices. This is a necessary but not sufficient evolution to address the gender gap...
“We would love to recruit more women, but we just can't!”
Recruitment processes are particularly prone to unconscious bias. For example, the so-called "affinity bias" one of the most powerful that encourages recruiters to hire someone who looks like them...
The ads are also filled with stereotypically masculine terms that may discourage women from applying.
Suggest that people who "fail to recruit women" read Diversity VC's white paper on the subject, which proposes concrete solutions.
“ I'm a woman and I've never had any problems at all, you guys are pussy.“
If you work in an environment / company:
- With as many women as men in management positions
- Where there is no wage gap
- Where an equal early childhood care policy is put in place....
... send us the address and contact details of the executives so that we can apply!
If that is not the case, but as an individual, running a ball and chain when your male colleagues don't have one doesn't bother you, we hope, however, that you will give your support to those who would like to run a fair race. Many women have internalized and accepted these additional barriers to the point of no longer being able to challenge them.