The Hottest Startups Are Full of Bros

The absence of women in tech is not really news, but since it remains a Situation, it’s worth hammering away

The absence of women in tech is not really news, but since it remains a Situation, it’s worth hammering away at.

This morning we wrote about the lack of women at the top positions at Twitter, Facebook, Zynga and Groupon, arguably the biggest four companies on the social Web.

Now local designer Whitney Hess has put together a counterpart to that list with a roundup of the gender breakdown at some some well-known startups.

Most of the women working at hot startups are in marketing, she noted.

“Not only are women in tech mostly invisible, the vast majority of those who are on display are selling, not making,” she wrote.

Foursquare? Six out of 40 employees are women, Hess writes. Their roles include Community Manager, Lead Designer, Marketing Manager, Head of Recruiting and Community Support Coordinator.

Kickstarter? Four out of 14 employees are women, Hess writes, working in Customer Service, Marketing and Community.

Tumblr’s lone female employee, according to Hess, is Director of Outreach. (She left out intern Annie Werner. UPDATE: Turner was recently hired as Meetup Coordinator, bringing Tumblr’s female employee count up to two.)

New York’s BankSimple had nine employees, none of whom are women.

“Thanks for highlighting this,” CEO Josh Reich responded in the comments. “As a company, this is something we would like to rectify.”

BankSimple isn’t excluding women from its team, he said, but it’s tough to hire women who are technical. It’s much easier to find women to take a marketing or communications position, he suggested.

“I just scanned through all the applicants we have received for advertised ‘making’ positions. To date, we have yet to receive a single female applicant. We currently have an open position in customer relations. Nearly two-thirds of the applicants to this position are female,” he said.

Hess was briefly the only woman running for a spot on the board of the New York Tech Meetup, the largest tech organization in New York City, before she dropped out. When Tech Observer asked why, she declined to comment.

The ratio may be shifting, however. Newly-elected board member Anil Dash has said he wants to make the NYTM more diverse, and some local techies like developer Sara Chipps of Girl Develop It are working to teach women how to code.

Of course, women aren’t the only faces missing from the tech industry.

ajeffries [at] | @adrjeffries

The Hottest Startups Are Full of Bros