Women Founders Support Diversity, But Investment Stagnates

Izenda Content Strategist

July 19, 2017

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By Bob Pepalis, Izenda
[email protected]

Each month we take a look at recent technology news to spot the trends and advances in software and other industries. If you spot a piece of news that should be shared or have a comment, send it to me via email.

Women Founders Support Gender Diversity
A tech start-up with a woman founder hires twice as many female employees as the industry average, according to an article by the Los Angeles Times.

Women-led firms employ an average of 48 percent female workers, showing greater gender diversity than large tech companies, such as Google (31 percent) and Facebook (33 percent). Online start-up investing platform FunderClub surveyed 85 United States-based tech startups for the study.

Start-ups with at least one female founder wind up building companies where nearly half the staff are women, a new study finds.

The article theorizes that with few female venture capitalists, even fewer women-led firms will get funding.

Watch How These Women Overcome Biases in Tech
The University of Waterloo recorded a significant increase in the number of women in computer science programs since 2012. Back then, women comprised about 13 percent of the students in the programs. More than 20 percent of the computer science students were women, as those students graduated this year, and more than 24 percent were admitted into the programs this academic year, up from about 10 percent of admissions 10 years ago.

Since 2007, the University of Waterloo's Women in Computer Sciences supported more than 1,300 female students. The student-run initiative undergraduate committee hosts speakers and lecturers, runs a mentorship program, organizes social events, educates on women's issues and issues of diversity in computer science and STEM at large, and arranges outreach and educational activities in computer science and technology.

The organization produced a video about some of the women who are overcoming obstacles and biases. Notable since the early 1980s, 37 percent of computer science students were women. Today, that number has dropped to 18 percent.

Share what your alma mater does to support diversity.

Teams of Programmers Win NASA's Robotics Challenge
NASA faces a big challenge in getting to Mars, and with current funding levels, it won't happen. But what will they do once they get there? Think robots.

Four programming teams received upwards of $300,000 in the Global Space Robotics Challenge. They focused on developing software to increase the autonomy of mobile robots during space travel and on planets, primarily looking to improve NASA's Valkyrie robot.

We might have to settle for robots with AI if private companies don't find a way-and funding-to get people to Mars.

But even if people make it to Mars, they'd better not rely on following Matt Damon's lead in growing potatoes (The Martian). Researchers from the University of Edinburgh revealed in a new study that UV light and perchlorates- chlorine-containing chemical compounds-in the soil may make growing anything nearly impossible, Spacealert.com reported. It's not like you can go down to the local nursery or home supply store to pick up bags of dirt. That "drive" is at least tens of millions of miles away, and will take months.

Tell Us Who are the Women Influencers in Tech
Tracey Tong and the B2B News Network want to know who are the top women influencers in tech. Now's your chance to nominate someone in your organization.

Tong learned after an initial article about big data influencers that the percentage of women in tech-especially in management roles-may be between 11 and 28 percent. The response to her LinkedIn request for women influencers led to this survey. Nominate a woman for our "Top 50 Women Over 50 In Tech," here.

Growth, Investment in Female-Founded Companies Stagnates
Companies with at least one female founder almost doubled to 17 percent from 2009 to 2012-but that percentage hasn't changed in the past five years.

Crunchbase reports that startups with a female founder raised approximately 15 percent of seed-funding dollars-or $332 million-in the first two quarters of 2017. Overall, female-founded companies received $6.5 billion in investments, representing more than 11 percent of all dollars invested during that time.

Dev Bootcamp Calls an End After Five Years
Coding bootcamps became very popular, but that hasn't stopped Dev Bootcamp from calling an end to their business. SD Times reported that Dev Bootcamp announced on Facebook that the last classes were to start this week and end in December.

"Since launching in 2012, we've been striving to find a viable business model that would enable us to further our vision of high quality, immersive coding training that is broadly accessible to a diverse population, while also covering the critical day-to-day costs of running our campuses," Dev Bootcamp wrote in the post.

In five years, it grew to 90 full-time bootcamps in more than 65 United States cities before calling it quits.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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