Investors Short Change Women’s New Media Venture

Ann Gordon, chief executive of an Internet company in Seattle, eSociety, belongs to a local CEO club, a group of 20 people that meets once a month. Just two of the members are women.Likewise in New York. New media schmoozer and journalist Jason McCabe Calacannis last year hosted an exclusive dinner for 12 of Manhattan Silicon Alley’s top chief executive officers. Only one attendee was a woman.Despite rivers of venture capital pouring into technology and a drastic lowering of barriers to entry, a relative handful of the country’s thousands of new media companies are actually run by women.Most women in the exploding Internet industry are still taking a back seat to men, hampered by their lack of access to venture capital and, according to some, their own attitudes toward risk. “People always say if {an idea for a business} is good, it will get done,” says California-based consultant Karen Bixby who four years ago tried unsuccessfully to raise a fund that would back women-led companies.