Rachel Sklar is Changing the Ratio in Tech

BlogHer Original Post

For instance, there’s not data yet in regard to Instagram, but anecdotally I know that women have been important to the growth of Instagram. Everytime go to the popular page, there’s pictures of pretty girls, at the minimum there’s that.

The thing about Pinterest, for example, and the fact that this world cottons to Pinterest so late in the game -- it was the “flyover country” women who were using Pinterest. I think when the data comes in on Instragram, we’ll see that when Instagram caught on with women, that is when it experienced real growth.

Q: So, why has it taken so long for the industry to get it?

I think that’s part of the larger question, we hear all the time the argument that women control 80% of household spending, women are going to start out-earning men, and that is all true when you’re talking about women as a market. Women have yet to fully organize around that power, power is only power if it is something that is acknowledged. When women organize around common goals and needs, we’ll see movement.

Q: The tech world, new media and entrepreneurship is, of course, all about evolution. Tell us about your new venture, TheLi.st.

The Li.st very much related to the goal of Change The Ratio. I run a private ad hoc listserve of women in tech and new media and entrepreneurship. Around six months ago I really started noticing [the listserve] had become an incredibly effective platform for women to connect, get information, and find each other, and find partners, and get money -- real world business was being done on this listserve.

The first element of The Li.st is going to be a newsletter. There’s an underrepresentation and undercovering of women in tech. The Li.st is a really easy way to quantify and to organize information and connects back to things like Change The Ratio -- who’s on the list, what’s on the list, what is the ratio of the list, so it has multiple meanings, and most importantly it’s not gendered.

So The List was conceived of as an ambitious attempt to take all of the benefits of this private listserve I run scale it in a public way. And one of the of the big ways you can do that is through curation of information and addressing information asymmetries, and something that I’ve really found is that there are lots of different information asymmetries between women and men -- just the stuff that guys happen to know or hear about or learn about that women just don’t, and that’s one area we want to tackle.

But also, more generally, to use the list as well as a great platform for promoting amazing women. Behind every media company there is a network right? And behind this media property there is also a network, but the ratio of this network is a little different than other networks and that’s going to come through.

For more thoughts on women, technology and business, please follow Kathryn on Twitter at @KathrynFinney


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