When women lead



July 28, 2022

The book is an interesting narrative of women leaders and how they “have been able to turn genuine grievance into entrepreneurial grit.” The author is interested in the differences between companies founded by women and those established by men. The author examines more than 60 companies, and all of her interviewees encountered huge obstacles. Some of the most telling statistics relate to venture capital funding. “Female founders consistently draw less than 3 percent of all venture capital dollars,” writes the author, “and it is VC funding that enabled companies such as Facebook, Google, and Airbnb to spend years losing money while growing.” Furthermore, “when female entrepreneurs do successfully raise venture funding, they generally raise less than half as much as their male counterparts.” Many VC investors look for brash, hyper-confident optimism from CEOs seeking funding, and women founders tend to be more circumspect and cautious. However, the author clearly shows that when women make it past the starting line, their companies often outperform the market. They intend their companies to become lasting enterprises, whereas men are more likely to dash for growth in order to cash in on the company via sale or initial public offering. Women are also more likely to work at building resilience and reserves into the company’s architecture, a strategy that turned out to be crucial when the pandemic hit. They begin to build a reliable team very early in the company’s life, often looking for a diversity of skills and opinions. It is pointed out that many of the successful entrepreneurs in this book have set up mechanisms to support the next generation. TW


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