It’s no secret that women face discrimination in male-dominated workplaces. That’s why they should start their own businesses, says entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg, who is the CEO of Meta and the sister of founder Mark Zuckerberg, previously served as chief marketing officer and spokesperson at Facebook. He currently hosts a weekly tech business show on SiriusXM and is the CEO of Zuckerberg Media, a company that advises startups. Additionally, she runs Hug, a Web3 company for online artists and creators.
During a recent appearance on Yahoo Finance, Zuckerberg encouraged women to become tech founders.
“You can either spend your time playing one step into an already male-dominated part of the industry, or you can get in on the ground floor of some of the emerging things that are happening,” Zuckerberg said. “And there are so many exciting things with cyber security, space travel, blockchain, artificial intelligence. These are all opportunities for women to get in on the ground floor.”
Zuckerberg said inequality persists in technology despite some progress.
“We’re seeing more and more women starting the kind of unicorn-level, billion-dollar startups, and more women on the investment side,” Zuckerberg told Yahoo Finance. “And that said, though, the numbers are still pretty bleak.”
Women make up just 28 percent of the tech sector, despite making up nearly half of the broader workforce, according to Zippia. Last year, women who founded US startups raised just 2.1% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in the US, according to Pitchbook.
Zuckerberg also noted that women are enduring a greater workload post-pandemic.
“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen during the pandemic is that many women have left the workforce because we’ve sort of reverted to traditional roles in households where, with schools closed, many women were pulling double duty and leaving the workforce .” Zuckerberg said. “So we’re still kind of playing catch-up from that.”
During the pandemic, when remote work became more widespread, women struggled to balance their careers with family life. According to a 2022 report by McKinsey, mothers were 1.5 times more likely than fathers to spend three or more hours daily on housework and childcare.
Zuckerberg shared several insights on how women can make strides in the tech sector.
Zuckerberg encouraged women to continue to start tech companies, arguing that such companies could bring more female workers into the tech industry. According to a report by Kauffman Fellows, an organization that hosts an education program for venture capitalists, startups with at least one female founder hire 2.5 times more women.
“So if 98% of tech funding goes to men, then that’s going to perpetuate who continues to work for the tech sector. So I think it’s really important that more women find companies and get the funding they need to make those companies successful,” Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg also highlighted DeVry University’s Women in Tech Scholars program, which she said connects women with mentors and enables them to either start or further develop their tech careers.
“I think programs like this are absolutely critical to moving the needle and getting more women into the tech industry,” Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg also suggested that women monitor emerging tech businesses for opportunities. In particular, she advised women to keep an eye on cryptocurrencies and Web 3.0, a third iteration of the Internet based in part on blockchain technology.
Amidst the current crypto winter and FTX’s recent fall, many experts see cryptocurrencies as a precarious venture. Crypto stocks also fell recently after Silvergate Capital announced its plan to shut down operations.
As a result, investors are approaching Web 3.0 with increasing caution. In recent months, some venture capital firms have slowed investments in Web 3.0 companies, according to recent reports by Forkast, a publication covering blockchain.
However, Zuckerberg insisted that women should consider these areas.
“We desperately need more of us at the table, especially as many of these new technologies that are emerging have real social and ethical questions that they raise and questions about how our children, how we’re all going to interact with technology. Zuckerberg said. “And if women don’t have a seat at the table right now, we can’t have a voice in what happens to them.”
Dylan Croll is a reporter and researcher at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @CrollonPatrol.
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