There are some amazing founders who have inspired me in the last 12 months. They have given their knowledge to my community and never asked for anything back.
A female founder recently said to me “the female founder bias issue is a serious one” and talked about the prejudice within the VC and startup community towards female founders. As a male founder, I have been trying to get to grips with it and understand how to contribute to a change.
So how can we affect change? One way, as mentioned in my last post, is if more companies hire female CEOs. 37/500 Fortune 500 companies are not enough. As consumers, we should demand it.
I think this is a very complicated issue which means some men are even scared to talk about it. First, on a company level, I pledge to ensure any company I run has at least 50% female management.
Second, I will try to affect change by taking responsibility at home for giving my partner equal opportunities and showing my son his mother has an equal footing with me in every way.
In the process of becoming a father, I learned just how much the system favours dads to go back to work within 2 weeks and for new mums to take on the full time role as a mother. This is wrong in my view. Of course, if a mum wants to be full time that’s their prerogative but I am saying it should not be a given. I have been co-parenting with my amazing wife Helen – I now work 3 days a week and she works 3 days a week. I was shocked how many men said to me “go back to work, let your wife be a mother it’s more natural for her” and I am seen as odd to want to be the one who takes my son to school and picks him up for example. This prejudice needs to change as I believe it affects employment decisions and causes much of the imbalance we see in most companies.
My conclusion here is change starts by realising the built in bias we all have and learning to break free from it + accepting that much of the change needed must come from our own approach to equality.
Thank you again to my inspirational podcast guests and my partner in life in every way, Helen.