If women represent the majority of e-customers, why shouldn’t they be running e-commerce?
It’s the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning. It’s the last thing you think about before you fall asleep. You stay awake some nights worrying about it. Will it grow up to be successful? Does it get enough love? Am I a good enough mother … to my startup, my 21st century baby? Though women are not the dominant gender among tech startups (yet), there are many reasons why they should be.
Know Your Audience
Having worked in global financial firms and sat on Boards of the companies in which I invested, I’m no stranger to being the only woman in the room. But e-commerce is really a woman’s game. Aileen Lee, from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, pointed out that women represent over 70% of the customers of Groupon, Zappas and Gilt Groupe in ‘Why Women Rule the Internet’. Sheryl Sandberg highlighted that the majority of Facebook users are women, and they are also the gender that drives the main activity on the platform. Tech firms across the globe are scrambling to hire female developers to design products FOR women created BY women.
As Latin American co-CEO for Lamudi, a global online real estate marketplace, I’m proud to say that my team of 60 is almost evenly split, which may sound trite in Europe or the US, but is extremely rare in Latin America. More importantly, I have seen women progress faster than men to management positions because their mothering instinct is exactly what a tech startup needs. You have to multi-task to juggle the changing needs of a growing organization. You have to listen and find creative solutions to make all stakeholders happy. “No” is simply not an option. If it weren’t for rapidly adapting to these changing needs, Lamudi wouldn’t have been able to grow in 10 months to the same level as our main competitors after 10 years.
Interestingly, real estate agents are one of the few well-paid professions in Mexico which is dominated by women. With the real estate sector booming in Mexico, these women are making an important contribution to the economy. My main ambition is to use my position at Lamudi to continue highlighting the importance of women in both the real estate and technology sectors, and to encourage younger generations of women to use their natural strengths to position themselves as leaders in any industry.
About guest blogger: Vera Makarov is the Co-Founder and co-CEO of Lamudi in Latin America, a classifieds platform for the real estate market. She got her Bachelor’s Degree at Harvard University, and her post-graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, including an MBA at Harvard Business School.