Several weeks ago, a Silicon Valley startup CEO attracted controversy on Reddit for suggesting he would not hire women due to risks associated with paid maternity leave. He said that California’s paid maternity leave policies are risky for small businesses and that female candidates are less qualified to work in the tech industry. In other words, this CEO was able to use his anonymity to say what other Silicon Valley bosses would only say in private.
An article in The Atlantic suggests that the Silicon Valley startup world fears women will favor raising children over running or working in businesses. This can be a big problem for women who are attempting to secure venture capital funding to build their own startup companies. According to the article, which used a report compiled by Babson College, companies with a female CEO only received 3 percent of venture capital funding from 2011 to 2013.
Do All Tech Companies Penalize Women Who Take Maternity Leave?
Fortunately, not all businesses in Silicon Valley, or even tech companies, have a negative view of hiring women. Businesses like Facebook have put women in charge of some of the most powerful positions within the company. CEO Mark Zuckerberg even set an example by taking paid parental leave to care for his newborn daughter.
Other companies like Netflix have also instituted generous maternity leave policies. It would seem the worst of the complaints lodged at Silicon Valley employers involve startup companies.