11 times women leaders went “Are you Serious?” 😑

Studies confirm that female entrepreneurs are asked different questions by investors than male entrepreneurs. Don't believe us? Read below to know about what women founders deal with in the name of "harmless questions".

11 times women leaders went “Are you Serious?” 😑

In 2020, only 3% of venture capital in the U.S went to companies with a female CEO, which is still more than what Indian women-led businesses could secure that year. Yet, the number of female-owned businesses has risen around the world. Today, 252 million entrepreneurs out of approximately 582 million in the world are female. Now, that’s the real definition of “future is female”, isn’t it?

Seeing the impressive numbers for women in the workforce, it’s hard to believe how women have been labelled as the weaker sex for centuries, having to fight for every single fundamental right around the world, not just in India. Be it the right to equality, the right against exploitation or just the very basic right to freedom, it’s been a looooong road. Every single day, women fight to succeed and in the process, sometimes come across the most hilarious questions as women leaders/bosses that make for great stories and anecdotes you can laugh at.  

Here are the funniest ones curated for you:

  1. Are you a receptionist or admin manager? 🤯

Asia's first tech-enabled student housing community, OxfordCaps ex co-founder Annu Talreja shared in an interview that while interviewing a young architect, she had to be on the receiving end of this question from not a man, but a woman. This only highlights the deep-rooted bias that runs across the room. Gender has nothing to do with it, it is quite random who can put up a ridiculous question like that.

2. Who’s the ‘main’ boss? 😵‍💫

Founder of Pune-based fintech startup Syntellect, Sumedha Salunkhe Naik recently shared that while dealing with strategic clients for the firm, she often gets asked this question, with a side of “Who’s the brains behind the business idea?” as if it can’t be her. Well, we are a fan of how she just responds with a firm “Me!” to all the variations of this completely unfounded question.

3.  Will you understand the tech-related details? 🤦🏻‍♀️

Neha Bagaria, founder of women-centric employment portal JobsForHer shared that she had a bumpy ride when a senior tech professional mansplained domain & cloud storage to her. She had to cut him short to tell him that she had been running the company for over 6 years. “When I asked him about a delay in a project, he responded with, ‘I can’t tell you the problem because you won’t understand it.’ As a CEO, it’s my job to find solutions; it was not his job to doubt my abilities," she said. EXACTLY!

4.  Who will actually manage this office space? 😶

This one actually had us laughing before we could call it a weird question. When a building landlord didn't believe she was the owner and founder of the company that needed the office space, Feministaa Media founder Medha Mukherjee was asked "who actually managed the office".

"He wanted to talk to my father or brother since he assumed they were in charge of the company." Despite the fact that I had given a cash guarantee," she explained. Because only a man could convince him...

5.  Will you be able to manage work with your personal life? 🥴

Fundraising is already trickier for women founders, and it only becomes more difficult when a pregnant entrepreneur tries to do it. Founder of venture capital firm She Capital, Anisha Singh could not confirm the exact number of times she was asked this by investors & clients before any business-related questions since her pre-seed fundraising.

Psychological studies have confirmed that female entrepreneurs are asked different questions by investors than male entrepreneurs and Anisha experienced it firsthand. Findings of this study confirm that men are asked more promotion-oriented questions that tend to focus on the potential gains and achievements of their business, while women are asked more negative, prevention-oriented questions that focus on the challenges, risks, or potential losses their business may face (by both male and female investors).

So we did a survey within #WomenInTheKlub and got more questions/statements women have to face just for being themselves in this world:

6.  “Will your business idea be a start/stop one? One that will allow for you to get married, have kids and a family and also work?” 🤢

7.  “Isn’t your biological clock ticking? You would have kids in a couple years.” in an investor meeting... 😞

8.  “You can’t manage the finances. Get yourself an accountant.” 🙄

9.  “Woman take emotional decisions and hence, cannot make good leaders.” 🥴

10.  “It’s so nice you found something to fill your time with.” 🤦🏻‍♀️

11.  “Don’t you miss your child when at work?” 🤢

Next time you are asked something like this, call them out as this lady did:

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