VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.
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I do have a perspective on the term female founder. I don’t mind it when it’s used as a fund that’s focused on female founders and that sort of thing. But when people refer to me as a female founder, I often cringe a little bit. It’s even worse when they call me a girl boss, because it kind of feels like, “You’re an anomaly. This is different than the standard process.” I want to be judged by the performance of my company, by the health of my company, by the metrics—all of those things.
I don’t want to be referred to as a great female founder. I want to be referred to as a great founder. I’m thinking about expanding that conversation a little bit and thinking about how that might hold female founders back. I’m a founder who happens to be a woman. That’s what I am. But not using it as an identifier.
And it kind of makes me think about this one episode that I love of Silicon Valley, where all the men are there, the engineers are in the house, and there are two women. The women couldn’t be more different. One’s an attorney, super straight-laced. She’s kind of like a hippie engineer. And the guys were like, “Let me move over so you can stand next to the woman. I’m sure you guys have things to talk about—women’s things.”
I might have far more in common with the other male founders in the room than I do with the female whatever. Some of the best healthcare companies that I know of are run by women. People should invest in founders who are women because women make great founders. Not because we are female founders and you’re trying to up your diversity metrics.
It’s important to build a diverse team because diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams. It’s important to invest in great founders. And women happen to make great founders.
Wow. That was amazing, Rachel. Thank you for two weeks of incredible insights and advice. I truly appreciate everything that you shared with us.
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