I love women, not in that way [obviously] but in the way that I don’t actually visibly see any difference between the capabilities, intelligence and ambition between that of a man and a woman. To be honest, I never have. Actually it wasn’t until I started working in the corporate world and started educating myself reading various business publications that I even realised there WAS a pay gap, that would have been around the age of 22 when I started working in a proper business environment.
Last year on this site we started a “women” section – but I have always had a love / hate relationship with the section since we launched it. Because part of me has always thought that it alienates the female readers – why should an opinion piece written by a woman go into the “say something” section like the rest of the opinion columns? Is it more important to be [silently] inclusive and not wave a big flag around highlighting the fact we a [very] pro chicks doing awesome things in business?
At the end of last year I sat down and really looked at the type of content that we delivered on the site and the areas where we were steering away from our core goals in the messages we were trying to deliver. What we do on shoestring is cover startup news, founder profiles, features, politics & opinion in the new business space. None of that is gender specific, none of that warrants us to steer from the core and have a “special” section for any particular group of people. Everyone should be able to play in this sandpit nicely, after all, we are startups, we are all on the same level here.
When it comes to starting up a business, sure there are clear statistics and lots of examples where we see that we need things such as more females on panels and more females in tech just to highlight a couple. But are these not things that the whole community should talk about together? Is having a “women” section only making the alienation in the industry worse?