A newly-released analysis shows that the world of Silicon Valley venture capital is a bona fide boys club, with the biggest firms employing a dismal lack of female partners, while managing to hire women into 100 percent of their receptionist positions.
Why does this matter in Ohio?
You may recall our Governor has a similar track record when it comes to hiring women into key roles. In fact, upon taking office, in order to give some of his top staff raises, Kasich cut the salaries of several female staffers at the bottom. More recently we showed that the men in Kasich’s office make 56 percent more than the women. A Dayton Daily News analysis showed Kasich’s appointees are predominantly male, with under 20 percent of positions filled in the first seven months going to women.
Kasich’s economic development team is similarly male-dominated. Of nine members appointed by Kasich to the board of JobsOhio—the private corporation responsible for awarding incentives to Ohio businesses—only one woman was named. Among JobsOhio staff, only 4 of 14 directors and officers are women. Of all the Governor’s appointees to the Third Frontier Commission, Development Financing Advisory Council or the Tax Credit Authority—three entities responsible for signing off on state loans, grants and tax credits—not one is a woman (source: Governor’s office press releases).
Which brings us back to Silicon Valley.
Mark Kvamme is a Partner at Silicon Valley firm Sequoia Capital. Kvamme is also Kasich’s jobs guru and heads up JobsOhio. Kvamme’s firm, Sequoia, led the list of all Venture Capital firms surveyed in terms of its male-dominated staff. Not a single one of the firm’s partners are women.
No one is questioning whether Kasich and Kvamme like women. Kasich has been married twice and Kvamme just left his wife in California for a much younger woman he met here in Ohio (hey, at least one woman in Ohio is better off economically thanks to Kvamme!). But the two are displaying an alarming lack of diversity in appointments to top economic development spots in charge of awarding billions of dollars in state incentives to businesses.
How can we expect Ohio’s women-run and women-centric businesses to fare when seeking state assistance when the people holding the purse strings are almost entirely men?