Let’s Face It, the American Dream Is Still a Man’s Dream in the 2020s: Women Are Just Living in It

Global VC funding increased, funding to women entrepreneurs decreased, it’s business as usual in tech!

Vidya Narayanan
4 min readFeb 5, 2021
Credit: Pixabay (Source)

If you’ve read the title, you’ve read the TL;DR — that’s it! But to get deeper into the gender realities here, read on.

Crunchbase hit me with some news one day that I thought was interesting — global VC funding increased in 2020. It wasn’t that surprising given that the markets flew high and there was more money available to invest. Yet, in the middle of a pandemic, this is exciting news for founders on the surface!

Then, there was more news.

So, there it was — no need to be alarmed, it is business as usual in tech, we can all go back to feeling normal!

A nuanced fact is that more capital went into fewer companies, but there’s still no excuse for these simultaneous realities to be true.

2020 has been tough for many of us. The pandemic, the pandemic deniers, the lockdown, the deaths, the masks, the anti-maskers, the conspiracy theories, the conspiracy theorists, the election, the election aftermath, the list goes on.

But the pandemic did not hit us all equally.

In 2020, women lost a net 156,000 jobs while men gained a net 16,000 jobs!

But it gets worse.

The unemployment rate for all women is 6.3%, while it is 8.4% for black women and 9.1% for Latinas.

The gender gap is deeper than you may think.

  • 54% of women take time off for being a first time parent compared to 42% of men.
  • Women are eight times more likely to care for sick children and manage their children’s schedules than men.
  • Women are more likely than men to trade off work to care for the elderly.
  • Having young children reduces a woman’s hours at work but does not have a statistical impact on men’s work hours.
  • Mothers are more likely to do household chores than men.

I could go on, but this poll provides a good summary:

Source: Gallup Poll

Ladies, you should be delighted to know that your man has yardwork and cars covered! Before you give up hope, you should know that we’ve made progress and there’s reason for hope:

Source: Gallup

Now, don’t get me wrong. I just want to be treated as an equal, I’m not looking for privileges.

Equality is NOT anyone’s turn at privilege. But, because equality can feel like oppression to the privileged, it gets harder to achieve equality.

As a woman entrepreneur raising money, this state of affairs is certainly discouraging.

With a country and culture that naturally puts more household burdens on women, subliminal biases that automatically assume that women have less time to work, and a pandemic that disproportionately hit women, when can we really achieve equality?

I am one of those incredibly lucky women with an amazingly supportive husband who not only does the dinners and household chores, but also the yardwork and the cars (did I mention I’m lucky?) so that I can give more to my entrepreneurial dreams.

Having a supportive spouse means that I only have to fight the biases, not the fundamental barriers to work itself.

That still doesn’t take away from the fact that I’d have it easier if I were a white male. But, I stand by own advice to women in tech.

Forget that you’re a woman. Feel and act equal. Don’t let subliminal biases impact who you are. Be genuine.

PS: I’m on an entrepreneurial mission — I will march on and I will prevail.

PPS: For any women entrepreneurs reading this, feel free to reach out (vidya<at>rizzle<dot>tv) if you need a supporting partner in crime.

PPPS: Through my efforts, I hope to make the future a better place for my daughter and ambitious women. If you are a successful woman, I urge you to do that too. Help other women bypass the challenges you had to face.

If you got all the way here, have a cookie 🍪 and add some claps 👏 so that others can find this article too. Thanks for reading!

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Vidya Narayanan

Building Rizzle (rizzle.tv), the future of video! In past life (@Google, @Qualcomm), I built stuff that you’ve likely used!