Mariano Mayer, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Newtopia VC, participated in the event to present the report «The gender gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Argentina» organized by WeInvest Latam and ARCAP, with the main objective of making visible the dimension of the gender gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, to continue drivingthe change towards a more equitable industry.
The opening of the event, which took place on November 17 in the CITES Ineco Center, was led by Lorena Andrea Suárez, President of ARCAP and Marta Cruz, President of WeInvest Latam, who highlighted the importance of this study indicating that «what is not measured cannot be managed«.
Among other guests was present Mariano Mayer, our Managing Partner, who participated in the panel «How to reduce the gender gap in the industry«, providing your contribution to this topic. Mariano shared some actions that he promoted during his time in the public service and delved into the commitment of Newtopia VC as a fund to correct the gender gap.
The numbers of the gender gap in the Argentine entrepreneurial ecosystem
This report, presented by Barbara Harteneck, Community Builder of WeInvest Latam and Lucia Cervilla,research commission ARCAP, is based on certain fundamental premises that account for the current reality within the Venture Capital Industry in which there are still gender disparities and structural disadvantages for women.
In this context, the main figures produced make a clear diagnosis of the gender gap at present within the Argentine entrepreneurial ecosystem:
- Only 11.5 % of the CEOs of the companies invested by Venture Capital in 2021 are women. This trend, which had been on the rise since 2017, was interrupted in 2021, with a noticeable setback compared to the previous year, where the percentage had been 13.7%.
- In 2021, only 13.2% of all entrepreneurs who founded companies and received VC investment from Venture Capital and Seed are women, while 86.8% are men.
- the ventures that received VC financing in 2021 have at least one woman in the composition of their founding team, a trend that has been on the rise for some years.
- Considering the funds that participate in ARCAP, only 37.9% have at least 1 woman among their General Partners.
- In 2021, only 16.2% of the positions that involve decision-making in Venture Capital and/or seed funds are headed by women.
How to reduce the gender gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem
After the presentation of results, the panel moderated by Alfonso Amat, Head of Startup Business Development – LATAM of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and in which they participated:
- Mariano Mayer, our Managing Partner
- Bianca Sassoon, Managing Partner of 17Sigma
- María Julia Bearzi, Executive Director of Endeavor Argentina
- Abigail L. Dressel, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States.
For his part, Mariano commented on a valuable contribution made during his tenure as Secretary of Entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises, within the National Ministry of Production, a position he held between 2015 and 2019, which consisted of promoting the creation of the Center Economic Development for Women and explained:
«At that time there were no initiatives related to the economic issue of women and we decided to put it together.»
On the other hand, as Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Newtopia VC, he highlighted some fundamental concepts:
There is a lot of work to be done and it is not easy, especially in a fund where the partners are men, but we are aware that the effort has to be greater”.
Many times one unconsciously has biases and you have to be careful not to send incorrect messages. In this you have to be and seem”.
We have a great challenge as a background and we are starting, at the initiative of our analysts, who are all women, with an anti-bias workshop to work precisely on those that we often have and do not realize.
Commitment to correct the gender gap
Within the framework of this panel, the different referents proposed or presented concrete actions to combat the gender gap within their organizations for the future. For example, Alfonso Amat commented on an initiative established within the HR area of Amazon Web Services (AWS) regarding the incorporation of at least one female applicant in all the search processes that are carried out.
In this sense, Mariano commented on a methodology adopted by Newtopia to correct this gender gap and be able to include more female founders in the investment committees:
We set out to have at least one startup of female founders to analyze in each investment committee. The female founders that we have invested in are leaders in the communities and they tell us that there are many more women-owned startups, but they are not reaching us.
“We are beginning to analyze why they do not arrive to see what happens. For this reason, we are proactively refining and improving the process so that at least when analyzing there is a number of female founders in which we can invest”, he added.
Personally, Mariano, as the father of 4 female daughters, expressed:
I learn a lot by listening to my daughters, you have to listen to the younger ones, they come with a different mindset and confront you with biases.
These data alarm us and, at the same time, drive us to action. At Newtopia VC we have a broad portfolio with a strong presence of female founders who are in charge of their companies:
- Consuelo Chasseing and Denise Henry Maffeis,-Founders of For Me
- Carolina Bañales, Founder of Eyecue: pre-seed SaaS / AI
- Ivonne Quinones,Founder of Aimo: pre-seed SaaS for e-commerce.
- Laura Ramos Siabato,-Founder of Creditop
- Rafaela Herrera Silva, Co-Founder of Sirius
- Angelina ViglioccoCo -Founder of Workmates
- Valentina Smith, Co-Founder of Hunty
- Karina Campos, Co-Founder of Nilus
- Celina Nieman, Co-Founder of Defiant
- Gabriela Roberto Baró, Co-Founder of Agrotoken
- Olivia Cesio, Co-Founder of Waterplan
Recommended Lecture: Saas Impact in Latam
We seek to incorporate many more startups led by women in order to contribute to correcting the gender gap within the Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem.
So.. are you an entrepreneur and you want to get in touch with us to analyze what you are building? That’s great! We really appreciate that interest.
If after reading our Manifest, you consider that you check all of the boxes, do not hesitate applying to Newtopia!
The preparation of the report and the organization of this event were in charge of ARCAP (Argentine Association of Private, Entrepreneurial and Seed Capital), a non-profit entity that promotes Argentina as an investment destination for Private Capital, and WeInvest Latam, an NGO that represents the community of women who invest in Latin America.