Impact of Family

Questions asked during interviews include:

  • It's a good thing you don't have children yet as that would work well in venture/start up world
  • Would I really have the time needed for the job and could I work as hard as the other two partners I'd be joining "given that you are a mom with a young child."
  • I was asked during fundraising meetings, "How do we know you're not going to run off and have a baby?"
  • Once I was asked about my religion and my views on abortion. On another occasion I was asked about how I would take care of my child while working.

Other feedback:

  • "The women at my firm didn't talk nearly as much about their families as the men did. We felt the need to appear more professional and 'all about business'"
  • "In one review session, one male partner said of a female employee 'we don't have to worry about her bonus or promotion because she just got married. So she'll probably have a baby and quit soon'"
  • "I told my direct supervisor that I needed to take some short -term medical leave in order to have fertility treatment. His response was that he wanted to make sure I understood that having a 2nd child would be a career-limiting move."
  • "Missed a bonus round for an entire year's work as I was out in December when it was assessed"
  • "I just think there are few women with families in VC so I feel like an anomaly"
  • "I pulled myself from the fast track."
  • "While I was on maternity leave, a colleague tried to poach my team. I returned to a team that was distressed because they felt unprotected during my maternity leave during a particularly political time at our company (just post-IPO). In talking to other female execs, I think there is generally a concern that absence opens up teams and roles for poaching, which is unacceptable practice."
  • "I had 2 kids 20 months apart. When I told my boss about the second pregnancy, his response was-"OMG! Didn’t you just have a baby?" BTW, he had 3 kids. When I returned from my 2nd mat leave, the mood was different, and there was little effort to include me in the flow of things. I was no longer part of the discussion on the cool big game-changer project, and my boss was complaining about how little my team had accomplished that summer. I had to remind him repeatedly that I hadn’t been around, and there was no backfill, so how could anything have been done?"
  • "I'm single but wear a wedding ring because I was tired of explaining why I wasn't married."
  • "I don't keep photos of my kids on my desk any more"

Please add your anonymous stories to this initiative so that more stories can be heard.