04/24/11 | Uncategorized

Response to VC CONFESSION: “I Have Doubts Once I Think Of Women Founders Having Kids…”

By Angie Chang (Co-Founder, Women 2.0)

Jessica Jackley is best known as the co-founder of Kiva.org — Currently, she is starting up ProFounder.com to help you raise money for your business from your community.

Jessica has raised funding from over 30 investors for her latest startup.

One of her angel investors questions if female founders should be treated differently. He wrote a blog post titled “Putting Women First”.

Reposted with a new title on BusinessInsider as “VC CONFESSION: “I Have Doubts Once I Think Of Women Founders Having Kids And Being Distracted From Work” — this post has received tons of comments.

Below are responses to “A pregnant founder is going to fail her company”

“I’m busy running said company. I expect to be even busier with not just one but two babies (yes, to be clear, I’m expecting twins) arriving this fall. And as all entrepreneurs know, you live and die by your ability to prioritize. You must focus on the most important, mission-critical tasks each day and night, and then share, delegate, delay or skip the rest. So, while Paige’s post was intriguing and important, it wasn’t urgent – until it came to my attention that my team was somewhat bothered by it. When they saw one of our investors questioning my abilities as a leader, they were confused and frustrated. And so I am now replying on their behalf as well as mine.”
Comment by Jessica Jackley (Co-Founder & CEO, ProFounder)
— in response to Paige Craig’s blog post “Putting Women First”
“When my sister and I co-founded Magellan [first search engine in 1993] and worked all the hours that g-d gave, when we finally sold the company and Excite gave me a goodbye party, my then 11 year old son came, and when the time came for speeches, he gave one – which started out something like, as he looked around the room with his big blue eyes… “I don’t know if you all realize, if you all realize how hard my mom worked””
Comment by Isabel Maxwell (Founder & President, Maxwell Communications)
— in response to Paige Craig’s blog post “Putting Women First”
“As someone who joined a startup at 5.5 months pregnant, worked up until 3 days before giving birth, and came back full-time 6 weeks later, I would question the assumption that your cofounder will somehow become incompetent due to childbearing. “Working smart” is the new “working long”, and nothing makes you ruthlessly prioritize like having a baby.”

Comment by Cindy Alvarez (Head of Product, KISSmetrics)
— in response to Quora: “Is it wrong to fire an (unvested) co-founder who becomes pregnant at a startup?”
“Parenting creates a laser focus that you didn’t have before. Through parenting I have learned to operate at a totally different capacity. I don’t hesitate to say what I think, because there is not time to do business any other way. Who has time to screw around? Frankly you hear so little from us because we don’t have time to linger on chat boards.”

Comment by Tereza Nemessanyi (Co-Founder & CEO, Honestly Now)
— in response to Paige Craig’s blog post “Putting Women First”
The above photo of Jessica Jackley was taken by Michael Dayah via Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.



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