When it comes to technological entrepreneurship, the field has been dominated in the past by men, leaving women on the fringes. However, there has recently been a surge in the industry that has shown more women are getting involved, especially in Orlando, Florida. While there are still many top-notch men like Carl Freer and others who are having a big impact, the gender gap does seem to be closing.
One woman who was interviewed started her company to help with communication solutions; in essence, she helps to connect businesses with cloud-based technologies for both Internet access and voice services. Even cloud technologies are very new when it comes to Internet-based systems, but they are growing in popularity.
This entrepreneur in Orlando said it is her opinion that while there are many reasons people get into the tech business, a lot of it comes from the fact that corporate America is very structured. She does not feel like there are equal opportunities for men and women in the standard workplace, believing that odds are stacked a bit against women. Because of this, she thinks women are attracted to the idea of starting their own businesses. It can give them a chance to do what they want and make a future for themselves that would be hard to obtain otherwise.
She also said that part of her decision had to do with simply being her own boss. That is one of the biggest reasons the majority of business owners start their companies. Though, as she pointed out, being your own boss could mean something different for women who may feel that they cannot climb to the top of a typical company than it would for men.
As far as the surge in recent start-ups is concerned, part of it is connected to the University of Central Florida, which has a program to help such businesses. Just a few years ago, less than 15 percent of those businesses were being run by women. Today, the numbers have jumped, and more than 30 percent are now led by women. This is out of a total of 54 companies that are connected to the university.
To some degree, the whole system is a bit cyclical with those who have started companies in the past acting as mentors, lending knowledge to those who are trying to start them now. The entrepreneur who was interviewed said that this really played a role with women in the industry since the growth has been so drastic. As the numbers continue to grow, there will be an increasing number of women who can be mentors, which may then make it easier for others to get involved if they desire to do so.
For both men and women, though, much of the surge has been about leaving older technologies behind and turning to new ones. The woman who was interviewed, for example, had been part of a huge company that used dated hardware systems. They were not interested in working on cloud-based systems. However, the woman felt so strongly that the cloud was the real future of the industry that she left the company to start out on her own. Future changes to technology could cause even more of these upheavals, which could help to turn this surge into a trend.