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Entrepreneurs, Women and Tech: The New Frontier?

By Maria Brown | October 30

womenandtechnologyGoDaddy CEO Blake Irving recently shared insights in his commentary in Fortune.comthat entrepreneurs in the tech space may find useful: “Women purchase, and make purchasing decisions, for more than 50% of technology items in the marketplace.  Understanding how women adopt andutilize technology are two of the most important insights the tech industry can glean ...”  Irving quotes a Park Associates’ two year study:  “Despite the long-running stereotypes to the contrary, women purchase and use more technology than men. Women purchase more tablets, laptops and smartphones; download more music, movies and games; make the majority of household technology purchasing decisions; and utilize devices and services, from games to social media, more than their male counterparts.” 

Both Irving and the Park Study suggest a key strategy for breaking the code on understanding the selection and buying preferences of this majority tech consumer: get more women at the design table in the tech industry. 

GoDaddy CEO Irving states, “We've long intuited that diversity of thought leads to novel solutions, but more and more the diversity theory is being backed by hard data. In a study released in May by the University of Castilla la Mancha, Spain, researchers analyzed the make-up and results of more than 4,000 R&D teams around the world and found that gender diverse groups can lead to greater creativity and better decisions.”

Much work lies ahead, however, while 74% of high school girls identify STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as a desired career area, only 20% of computer and information science degrees were awarded to women in 2008.  This is down from 37% in 1985.  The number of degrees awarded reflects the proportion of women employed in tech firms, only about 17% in Silicon Valley.

Perhaps the local entrepreneur, the small business developer in the tech space may be able to move more agilely and quickly into developing key products for women tech consumers by adding female creative and development people to their team at early stages, and get a leg up on Silicon Valley!