“I wouldn’t change a thing” Cary wrote as he sent this article to his CEO & Co-founder: Having a woman on your team ruins your chances for VC funding.
You see, his CEO is a woman. Martha Lawrence is a successful, savvy former hospital executive who knows how to get things done. Their firm, AccendoWave, recently launched a wonderfully user-friendly Active Discomfort Management system that offers an exciting, effective alternative to opioid pain management. Initially built for hospital use, AccendoWave has now captured attention as a viable remote monitoring option, spurred by prioritization of telemedicine in the wake of COVID-19.
Strategic partnerships with Samsung and AT&T catapulted the company forward but their path of success has not always been easy. Cary’s message to Martha came at a more challenging moment in fundraising, to cheer her on.
I look at this article, which says that the presence of even one woman in the C-suite of a startup deeply diminishes odds of VC funding. Then I look at others, like a Forbes article highlighting the dramatic positive impact female leadership can have on revenue and their 35% higher ROI. The numbers just don’t add up.
Considering human behavior, however, it makes sense. As much as investors invest in market opportunities, they also invest in people. Historically in the US, men have been in the positions of leadership and typically are in the spotlight when accolades for corporate success are given.
Investors are more familiar with the idea of male leaders when they paint the picture of success in their mind’s eye. And understandably, this creates bias in their investment decisions.
The situation is slowly improving, as recent years have seen record investments in woman-led technology start-ups. Still, we garner less than 3% of funds invested. And only 13% of VC funded start-ups have a female on the management team. There remains work to be done.
As a woman in medtech, I feel called to duty. One of my goals as a female founder is to reinforce the picture of a woman as a successful start-up leader. I aim to conduct myself with impeccable integrity, fight for the value that I know my projects have, and close good deals. I have learned to be comfortable doing it with my distinctly feminine leadership style – quietly and collaboratively.
I felt inspired to write this post as we approach DeviceAlliance’s 4th Annual Women in Medical Devices event on July 23, 2020. I encourage you to join us and to share…what does it mean to you to be a woman in medtech?