There are fears that another Ice Age is about to hit Silicon Valley because of the implosion of its unicorns -- start-ups valued at more than one billion dollars. By one estimate there were 229 such companies in January of this year. Their valuations are dropping precipitously because they were overpriced and overhyped. The fear is that venture capital will dry up and hurt the innovation ecosystem.
Cultural biases and conventions simply don't put "woman" and "entrepreneur" in the same space. The archetype remains tethered to the hunter male, a relentless warrior who vanquishes any and all unbelievers. Women continue to be seen by funders, and really the public at large, as newbies or juniors-in-training.
While it's disappointing that race and gender continue to preclude talented and innovative individuals from accessing the same opportunities as others, the real concern is that this issue doesn't begin and end in Silicon Valley as many people think. It travels in tandem with Silicon Valley's influence in business across America.
Venture capitalism has a disproportionate impact on the economy. It helps to ensure that technological innovation enriches the few and sustains jobless economic growth. Industrial policy in the hands of the government ideally creates wealth and spreads it around. Venture capitalists pick a handful of winners as part of a process of concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands.