#5 Gender Equality Talks — Peter Gajdoš

What does Peter Gajdoš, Head of Venture Capital IPM Group think about gender equality in business? Read our newest article below!

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1. Peter please tell us, what does gender equality mean for you in the investment world?

It means to mean equal access to capital and opportunities for women. Note: I believe the issue is not just women but also minorities (more of a US issue due to a more racially homogenous population in CEE). Bro investments by bro investors from elite schools into bros in elite schools is a real thing, though.

2. What can be done to improve the participation of women in the investor sector in CEE?

For me, there are 4 key things:

  1. More female VC partners and angel investors. If women are not in decision making positions in VC/angel investing (boards, investment committees, etc.), nothing will change. An absolute must.
  2. Specific female-focused incubators/start-up investment strategies. Many of these efforts already exist worldwide, so a bit more structure for the CEE start-up community would go a long way
  3. Attract more women in STEM + business education. Females are now the majority of the CEE university student population but still a minority in STEM + business. Must change.
  4. Change of attitude towards maternity — both from the investment community as well as from the CEE society in general. It should be OK for a female VC to take time off to have a baby; it should be OK for a female entrepreneur to take some time for a baby. At the same time, if the female VC/entrepreneur decides to go back to work after 3 or 6 months, it does not mean that the mother is a bad human being neglecting her child. Juggling is possible. Let’s accept the choices women make for themselves and for their families and deal with them.

Lastly, while this is not a specific step but a precondition for success: a major female entrepreneur success story is needed. We need a big exit/excitable valuation by a female entrepreneur. Something akin to UI Path success — that person can then shoulder the responsibility and lead the next crop of female entrepreneurs: financing, mentoring, motivation, etc.

3. What is your opinion about Equal chances for women to fund and get funded?

I believe it is mostly not an overt disadvantage/discrimination against women in VC; however, the unconscious bias is there. Many reasons — maternity leave attitudes as mentioned above, frequently less aggressive way of working/fundraising by females, smaller % of females in STEM education, small/clubby nature of VC/entrepreneurship, etc. This leads to a smaller number of female founders/VCs and hence a self-perpetuating cycle.

Thank you Peter for your time and the answers.

LUMUS is an investment club that provides education and facilitates high-potential investment opportunities in the CEE region. https://linktr.ee/LUMUSinvestment

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