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‘Women startup founders face bias’

There is a lack of investment support for startups that are founded by women.

Published: 21st November 2019 05:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st November 2019 05:35 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: On the concluding day of Bengaluru Tech Summit, women working in the corporate space spoke in a panel discussion titled ‘Role of individual, organisation and society in the growth of women in tech’. Cynthia Srinivas, a panelist, said: “Statistics show that only 8-10 per cent of tech startups in India are founded by women. Of the funding that goes into startups, only 2-5 per cent of it is spent on startups founded by women.”

Speaking to TNIE on the sidelines, Cynthia, engineering director of Intuit India Product Development Centre, said: “Women are always pitching to a room full of male investors because they are under-represented in the industry. There is a lack of investment support for startups that are founded by women. Investor hold per-conceived, unconscious gender-bias notions about women entrepreneurs.”

Visitors  at the Bengaluru Tech Summit at Bangalore Palace on Wednesday; a visitor experiments with a Virtual Reality gadget; a participant carries
his robot, which was exhibited at the summit | Shriram B N

“They think women have a lower risk appetite. In the perspective of an investor, this will translate to stagnant growth, loss of opportunities and less competitive drive. Even in big corporate companies, there are fewer women at the top. In college and while entering the field, there are a lot of women but mid-career, several tend to drop out. Society plays a bigger role,” she added.

She said, “The government should specifically start funding startups headed by women. There are some programmes at present but these need to be matured and scaled up.”

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Bengaluru: Recalling the changes in technology in Ericsson, Lotta Karisson Boman, VP of GCC India, Ericsson, said people are scared of what would happen to their jobs if the companies are become automated. “We told them that we were automating the boring part, at the same time, we will upskill the employees into newer technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning,” she added. Kamal Bali, President, Volvo Group said the company is planning to expand in Bengaluru by 2020. Ericsson is trying to get a similar setup as Volvo and have it established in Bengaluru. Sarah said IKEA has been trying to help startups on facing challenges like sustainability and human-planet conflicts.

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