International Women's Rights Day: for Flore Egnell, “start-ups are hostile to the presence of women”

International Women's Rights Day: for Flore Egnell, "start-ups are hostile to the presence of women"

Flore Engell, directrice générale de Willa. DR – DR

Les start-up, emblèmes du secteur de la tech, sont moins favorables à la présence de femmes dans leur direction. C'est le constat de Flore Egnell, directrice générale de l'incubateur Willa, dédié aux femmes, qui publie une étude sur le sujet.

On the occasion of International Women's Rights Day, the Willa incubator, dedicated to entrepreneurship among women, the France Digitale association , which brings together 2,000 start-ups, and the Roland Berger firm publish "The "gender gap" in entrepreneurship", a study on the subject, subtitled "From the decision to undertake to the vision: what really differentiates women male entrepreneurs".

"We published this study to verify our intuitions on the subject, specifies Flore Egnell, general director of Willa. For example, that women start entrepreneurship later than men, that many of them are mothers,… have numerical data on the differences in entrepreneurship between women and men.' ;quot;

"The tech environment is essentially male, less open to women…."

Thus, we see that the presence of women in companies is better respected in traditional sectors than in tech. "Equality is obviously not respected in traditional structures, but it is more so than start-ups, which are very wild this point. This is all the more true since the start-up is small", notes Flore Engnell.

On this point, the study is clear: tech is a more difficult environment for women than traditional business. We note that 84% of start-up creative teams are exclusively male, 12% of them are mixed, and only 5% of them are exclusively female. "The tech environment is essentially male, it is also less open to women…." she notes. "Women start later than men, we see that 44% of them wait until they have 10 years of experience, while this figure only reaches 25%, almost half, among men."

The fear of being impostors in their sector

A fact which can be explained in particular by women's fear of starting their own business. "Our study shows that none of the women interviewed had the vocation to get started before. Many have the fear of being an impostor in their environment, often due to a lack of figures to refer to. 28% of women, versus  only 12% of men often need a helping hand from destiny to create their structure. : a resignation, a change of life…. But they did not have entrepreneurship as their first idea, compared to 20% of men, who had this objective within them."

A finding that is also truer in 'fashionable' sectors, such as artificial intelligence or quantum. "These are very technical sectors, where women are even less represented, so specific actions must be put in place. This is why we are campaigning in particular for the establishment of quotas, because if we do nothing, nothing will move forward…hellip;." she advocates.

Actions also necessary in the start-up sector in general. "It is essential that the State develops support and financing structures dedicated to women, because a jungle of offers exists. It is also essential to use positive discrimination in these, in particular BPI France and investment funds."

Two women in Digital and Franch Tech

A project which could be made possible by the presence of two women at the State Secretariat for Digital and at the management of the Frech Tech Mission. "The appointment of Marina Ferrari to the Secretary of State is a very good thing, which opens up the field of possibilities… We have not had a woman in this position since Axelle Lemaire, at the start of French Tech. This observation is somewhat tempered by the fact that Marina Ferrari was demoted to the rank of Secretary of State, while Jean-Noël Baoot, her predecessor, was Minister Delegate…"

On the other hand, the presence of Clara Chappaz at the head of Franch Tech reassures our interlocutor. "He's someone very engaged on the subject of diversity in tech. His presence really works in the right direction. She was notably at the initiative of the parity pact within scale-ups, which really goes in the right direction on this point. It is particularly essential to show start-ups that they must promote diversity in their management, for when these companies will grow…"

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