During Women’s History Month, we want to celebrate women we feel fortunate to work with every day who are pursuing big, bold visions to create positive change for millions of children and families in global education. Thank you for being such an inspiration to us and to so many others by making learning more inclusive, equitable, and higher quality.
We are encouraged that in the past year we have witnessed women rallying for their rights and protesting in black gowns against harassment. We watched Wonder Woman become one of the highest grossing superhero movies in history, and #MeToo and #TimesUp grow into social movements. We applauded when women in Saudi Arabia received the right to drive, and when women in hockey fought for and won equal pay.
Yet, we continue to be astounded by how few women entrepreneurs receive funding — just 2 percent of total venture funding in the United States last year went to women founders. Women comprise only 8 percent of partners at venture firms in the United States. These statistics are even worse in many other countries in which we work. This, despite all the data demonstrating that improving diversity and inclusion is good for business.
Omidyar Network invests in the best mission-driven entrepreneurs, and we are proud that more than 40 percent of all the education organizations we support — nonprofit and for profit — have been founded or led by women, well above industry average. If you look at the US-based education companies where we have invested, that number exceeds 50 percent.
By Amy Klement, Partner, Global Education & Isabelle Hau, Investment Partner, US Education