THE SIMPLE, SINGLE REASON WHY THERE AREN’T MORE WOMEN IN AD TECH

Judy Shapiro, AdAge

As published in Ad Age 8/20/2019: Why aren’t there more women? Short answer – because women focus on real answers to real problems, versus ‘sexy’ black boxes and AI-driven algorithms, our thinking is vastly underestimated

I am tired of reading articles about why there aren’t more women in ad tech. This question comes up like the seasonal flu, gaining broad attention and then fading away until the next outbreak. I am especially tired of reading men’s explanations of why women aren’t better represented in ad tech.

So, let’s make this easy on everyone. The one simple reason why there aren’t more women in ad tech (or STEM or politics too, for that matter) is because men constantly underestimate us.

It hits us when we start out in our careers and we are dismissed as “silly girls,” or worse, “targets” to be conquered.

It hits us when we are middle-aged women as we are underestimated in our ability to balance raising a family and having an immersive career.

It hits us especially hard as we age because no one believes we are really relevant anymore.

By underestimating women, the knock-on effect ripples throughout the ad-tech ecosystem we have today.

Because women’s ideas are underestimated, we get less funding. This well-verified fact is one I lived when I pitched our Trust Web initiative to a major VC, who waved his hand and dismissed me, saying, “Others have tried and failed.” He didn’t even pretend to want to hear why we will succeed (we are approaching our eighth anniversary. it’s worth noting).

Because women’s capabilities are underestimated, women have to prove themselves more, despite the fact that the “cool but jerky ad-tech guy” manages to grab headlines when they get their Series A or B or whatever.

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