Women Are Way Better At Crowdfunding Than Men And Here's Why

Are you paying attention, Silicon Valley bros?

Are you paying attention, Silicon Valley bros?

Getting people to buy into your big idea, by talking to them like an actual human being, seems to really be working out for women.

As revelations of rampant sexual harassment in Silicon Valley and the world of venture capital continue to roll out, a recent study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and The Crowdfunding Center have unearthed something resembling a bright spot: Women are significantly better at crowdfunding than men.

In an analysis of more than 450,000 seed crowdfunding campaigns around the world, women were found to be 32 percent more successful than their male counterparts, despite the fact that more men use crowdfunding platforms than women. In Asia, the disparity was even more pronounced, with women achieving twice as much success as men.

The revelation is an important one, considering women face significant discrimination when it comes to raising capital. This is in large part due to the fact that fewer than 6 percent of decision-makers in VC are women, which is in large part due to the fact that there is a deep-rooted culture of complicity when it comes to sexual harassment and discrimination, as we’re continuing to discover. It’s a vicious cycle.

The question, of course, is why are women so successful in crowdfunding?

According to the study, it’s because women “tend to use more emotional and inclusive language in their videos and pitch descriptions than men. This language is more appealing both to female and to male backers and positively correlated with fundraising success." Huh. Inclusivity works. Imagine that. 

The data demonstrates that women are pitching very effectively, largely by speaking to humans like they are humans, rather than treating them like a puzzle to be solved.

Which makes their exclusion from venture capital all the more infuriating. The ideas are good and the pitches are good, but systemic sexism and a lack of accountability has taken a serious toll on the potential of female founders.

The study goes on to note the viability of crowdfunding as an increasingly legitimate way to raise money for your business.

And of course, the vision of women striking out on their own, doing their thing, and rallying the masses behind their brilliant ideas without needing the permission of a bunch of overgrown frat boys is an exciting one.

But at the same time, it’s imperative that women aren’t nudged in this direction instead of venture capital simply because it’s easier in the current system.

The problem of sexism in the tech industry is deep-rooted and pervasive, and until discrimination and harassment is effectively reduced, women founders will continue to be at a disadvantage. 

Words: Deena Drewis
Photo: Daria Kobayashi Ritch