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Women 2.0

Where do women really stand in the tech industry?

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This story appears in the August 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Just like in the 1990s, today's coverage of web companies like Facebook and YouTube dominates the media. But just as it was a decade ago, the faces behind the Web 2.0 wonders are mostly male. Are women not running technology companies--or are they simply not getting media coverage? Statistics on the number of women in technology are difficult to come by. Many women in tech believe their numbers are growing, but that they're simply not getting much press. Elaine Wherry, the 29-year-old co-founder of IM website Meebo, hopes the question "are there women starting technology businesses?" will become "less sensationalistic" in the press over time.

For Wherry, being a woman who founded a fast-growing Web 2.0 company isn't an issue; however, a background in computer sciences may have made her more comfortable in male-dominated and technical environments. Wherry admits she hasn't encountered the obstacles some women face when trying to raise venture capital. "I've heard horror stories from other [women], like venture capitalists asking if they're planning to become pregnant," says Wherry, who cites only positive experiences with the two venture firms that invested $12.5 million in the company she founded with two college friends--a male and a female.

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