When our organizing group decided to do a Women’s Edition, we never once entertained the idea of not letting men attend. This is for a pretty specific reason: equality and empowerment for women in entrepreneurship requires men to be involved, too.
So here you go, we have five reasons men should attend Women’s Edition. Ready? Here we go!
1. Showing up is saying that you support equality for half of the population. While women may be roughly half of the humans who occupy the planet, we ladies face inequality in virtually all aspects of employment and socioeconomic development. By showing up to say that you believe women should have a place in entrepreneurship, you’re saying that you believe in equality for half the population!
2. You will have no problem surveying women for your idea. One of the difficulties of doing customer validation is finding your audience. Women – as half the population! – are an important element of customer validation, and Women’s Edition will give you an easily-available audience of women whose customer validation will be a breeze!
3. Women make spending decisions. Most tech events are mostly men; that’s one a few places where it is forgotten that women make the spending decisions. Where real people are spending real money – and not exchanging “likes” for a “yo” or a “favorite” – 85% of all brand purchases are made by women. If you’re looking to really come up with a marketable idea, learn why women spend their dollars and where – this event is perfect for this.
4. Our speakers, mentors, and judges are out-of-this-world. We have some of the most amazing speakers, mentors, and judges showing up to help you. Yes, you. You’ll be getting face time with strong women who wouldn’t have time otherwise. You’re welcome.
5. This is the first of its kind in San Diego and you’ll be part of something amazing. There is never a reason not to attend Startup Weekend. Networking, learning, creating, building – there are so many things that happen at a Startup Weekend, and that’s why so many of us keep coming back for more.
If you’re a female and you have ever attended a startup community event, you may have noticed that you might be one of few women in the room. You may have even been the only woman in the room. And you may have noticed that this is a common occurrence.
My co-organizers have all recognized the same thing I have seen: because women are often just a fraction of the attendees at a startup event, the focus and atmosphere just isn’t always conducive for women to truly participate comfortably – whether it be a pitchfest, hackathon, or hey – Startup Weekend.
This isn’t unique to startup culture, of course. Inequality in the workplace forms spaces where women aren’t able to contribute to their full potential. When it’s more difficult to be heard, the likelihood of stepping up into a role or responsibility is even more difficult. When you throw a tech-centric event into the mix, where women are typically outnumbered by men, the politics of gender, power, and privilege become a bigger issue. It’s already tough enough to step up in front of a lot of people, pitch an idea, and work the crowd! If you look out into a sea of faces and see very few faces that resemble your own, how encouraging is that? What if you’re introverted? What if you’re shy?
On top of the bravery it takes to stand up, pitch, and pour your heart and soul into a weekend of building a business, it’s a lot to face the dynamic created by inequality. We want to remove the pressure of that dynamic and provide a space where women can feel less like the minority, and more like the faces in the crowd are there to hear them out. As a women who have often been the only gals in the crowd, we know that it will make for an entirely different experience – for both women and men.
We’re excited to make this an event about empowering women. One really great part about that is that it doesn’t mean that just women should attend; some of our organizers are men, and they, too, understand that equality takes all of us. We hope you will join us and show us the energy and enthusiasm that comes with believing in an equal and empowering setting for women.
Overall, we really want to see women shine at this event. We want to see more women pitch, more women lead, and more women feeling empowered after leaving this event. We want to see this event make a difference in women’s lives and we’re excited to do this with Startup Weekend in sunny San Diego.