How Tech Firms Fail Women in Business

How Tech Firms Fail Women in Business

How Tech Firms Fail Women in Business

Women are underpaid and underrepresented in the tech industry. It's time for change! 


I suppose that there is one benefit of irony. It provides a temporary moment of humor in an otherwise frustrating customer experience.

I have recently participated in a Forte MBA Forum - a virtual event which connects aspiring female business school students with business schools. The mission of the Forte Foundation is to "launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, professional development, and a community of successful women."

It's an admirable and important mission since the statistics for women in business are so appalling:

  • Only 6% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.
  • Only 28% of S&P 500 board members are women.

Forte is working hard to 'level the playing field' through the generous support of companies as well as leading business schools and admissions consulting partners such as myself. I am proud to support this terrific organization.

As part of the partnership, we are allowed to send one mail to attendees prior to the fair and after the event. It is one of my favorite activities because it starts a conversation with aspiring students to help women 'reimagine what they can achieve' as their website explains.

The problem? I can't send an email out. My go-to marketing email platforms have failed me.

In one case, my marketing email privileges were suspended due to high unsubscribe rates on some recent campaigns. I have no idea why. I never had a problem with all my previous campaigns and my touch points are infrequent. Moreover, I subscribe to the inbound marketing philosophy of "always be helping" such as this one I sent a couple months ago (excerpt below):


When I turned to another provider, I received a bizarre email about acceptable use violation:


I struggle to see how my draft email (excerpt below) presents a significant risk, unless of course some tech companies don't want women in business.



I can't even begin to describe how incredibly disappointing it is to have a deep desire to help women in business when it's impossible to do business as a woman.

My frustration extends to unnecessarily complicated platforms that almost require a degree in computer science to send a simple email. I don't care about all the bells and whistles of beta templates with fancy buttons. Just let me send a clear message to the recipient.

The dearth of women in tech leadership roles is well documented including the statistic that only 37% of tech startups have at least one woman on the board of directors.

The good news is that there is a new generation of young talent who is eager to improve gender parity in tech as well as all sectors of the economy. They're out there. And they will be attending the Forte Fair this evening.

If only I could reach them.

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Barbara Coward

MBA Admissions Expert

Barbara Coward is an experienced MBA Admissions Consultant and 2020 LinkedIn Top Voice in Education. She is an internationally-acclaimed admissions consultant with demonstrated expertise in strategic and influential content development and storytelling.

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