Why talented women need startups, and why startups need talented women

Bronte McHenry
April 5, 2023
Women Fellows catching up in the Folklore Office
Women Fellows catching up in the Folklore Office

I have a favour to ask...

I need you to touch base with all the talented women in your life who are wasting their time in rigid, boring or soul-sucking roles and send them to our Women Fellowship website (after genuinely asking them how they're doing).

Because these women need startups, and startups need these women. Let me explain why.

Why the talented women in your life need startups

Most people kick off their careers with gusto.

They study law to help dismantle society's barriers; they study design to make the world more beautiful; they get certified in personal training to help people unlock the best versions of themselves.

But somewhere on this journey, a lot of people lose their way.

These lawyers don’t get access to clients and are drowning in paperwork; these designers are working on campaigns that give them an icky feeling; these personal trainers go to bed wishing they could help more people.

Bit by bit, their gusto gets diminished, and they expect less and less from their working lives.

Eventually, they'll figure out a way to make their jobs work for them, but the fantasy of making the world more just, beautiful or enjoyable remains lost.

A career in startups is one way these women can find their passion and gusto again.

By nature of being young companies, startups tend to be free of the rigid, legacy constraints that make other industries so stifling, and startup employees are always close to the mission, customers and impact.

These women need startups because they deserve a chance to enjoy their jobs and spend their working hours excited, motivated and learning.

Startmate Women Fellows at a speed-friending event

Why startups need the talented women in your life

There's an underrepresentation of women in startups.

A recent Tech Council report found that men make up three-quarters of the startup workforce (and this figure gets higher the more senior you look).

This isn't to say we have too many men in startups, or don't need more men in startups. Startups are hungry for exceptional talent of all genders.

But startups desperately need women to ensure they are robust, resilient and representative.

Diverse teams are more interesting. They are more innovative. They are more likely to build a product that people can't live without because they actually reflect and represent their customer base.

Despite this reasoning, women in general find it harder to break into the startup space.

There are a host of barriers at play here — confusion, connections, community and confidence — all of which the Women Fellowship exists to dismantle.

Women Fellowship kick-off call

The Women Fellowship in a nutshell

The Women Fellowship helps women figure out their values, purpose, worth and non-negotiables.

It’s a program for women who don't know how their skills might translate or what role they might want. It's an introduction to startups. It's a way to make friends for life. It's also a transformational, explorative experience designed to help people fall in love with the concept of work again.

Work should be rewarding. It should be fun.

So, if you know someone who could and should be doing more with their 9-5 (or 7-10), send them to this page.

And if my monologue resonates with you specifically, check out the Women Fellowship.

One of the women fellowship squads meeting remotely over Covid
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The Startmate Women Fellowship is a program and community for ambitious women looking to supercharge their career in startups.

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