From Forbes Magazine
“Women: stop making start-ups about fashion, shopping and babies,” wrote Venturebeat’s Jolie O’Dell on Twitter a few months back. “At least for the next few years. You’re embarrassing me.”
Ouch. This tweet heard ‘round the lady blogosphere set off a ripple effect of posts, both sincere questionings over whether women really are starting the wrong types of businesses and admonishing her for belittling the progress of female founders.
But as a journalist who covers women in business with a special penchant for entrepreneurs, I can relate. The vast majority of pitches I receive in my inbox each morning are from cheerful publicists hoping to pique my interest in children’s sunglasses, flash-sale websites and direct-sales jewelry lines, all conceived and run by female founders. From an editorial perspective, would I like to see a little diversity? Sure. As a champion of women infiltrating the highest ranks of business, would I like to see more women filing big-ticket IPOs on tech-heavy endeavors? No contest.
Still, while I understand that O’Dell’s comment (although the “embarrassing me” dig is nasty) comes from a place of best-intentions for women, it’s a problematic stance. In attempt to become a part of the solution, I’d venture that she—and women like her who marginalize the work of female entrepreneurs in e-commerce—fall much more definitively on the side of the problem.
Continue reading the rest of the story on Forbes Magazine