Silicon Valley has one hand tied behind its back

Silicon Valley companies are ignoring a massive resource, they are trying to succeed with one arm tied behind their backs...
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

Silicon Valley is an immensely creative and inventive place. I love working here and being involved in the conversations, the people, the companies that are making the future.

Every day I meet people, I meet startups, that are relocating to here, from every and any place around the world. And they come here for those same reasons why I am here.

Yet Silicon Valley is also mired in old school thinking and culture that it needs to shed. It is missing out on an incredible resource that is right here, under its very nose.

If Silicon Valley can figure out how to effectively use this barely tapped resource, it could be so much more successful, and it could show true leadership to the rest of the world.

That resource is women. Women are rare in Silicon Valley circles. You see a lot of diversity when it comes to color of skin, but not when it comes to gender. You rarely see women in senior management, in the VC industry, in engineering, in the C-level suites of Silicon Valley companies.

To me this means Silicon Valley is trying to succeed with one arm tied behind its back. Why not use both arms? Why wouldn't we want to use all of our people resources and all of their talents?

I don't have an answer why this is the case. I've certainly never come across groups of men plotting and discussing ways to keep women out.

But I know that unless we can figure out how to involve more women in the business of building great companies we are leaving a lot of money on the table.

By figuring out how to involve more women in the business of innovation it will have a much larger impact than any technology. More than wi-fi, more than all our mobile technologies combined, more than Moore's Law. If Silicon Valley can figure this one out it will rule the world, imho.

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