A Legal Resource Space for Entrepreneurial Women
I have practiced law in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 25 years, with most of that time dedicated to working with science and technology companies and the venture capitalists that fund them. As I rose through the ranks, first in my pre-lawyer days as a commercial banker in New York, and then as an attorney both in-house at publicly traded companies and in private legal practice, I could not help but notice that I had fewer women colleagues, faced fewer women of similar seniority as opposing counsel, and rarely came across other women in board of directors meetings.
Moreover, women continue to comprise a small percentage of the founders, CEOs and CTOs of my corporate clients, notwithstanding the increased participation of women in the labor force over the same period of time. And since last November’s Special Report in The Economist, “Women and Work” which revealed some bleak statistics about women’s career advancement in the US, as well as some discouraging facts about women entrepreneurs in rich countries, I decided to do what I could to help women entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley by making sure they have easy access to start-up hints and a community of like-minded women, while demystifying some of the perceived legal hurdles of starting a successful company.
While StartHerUp is available to entrepreneurial men and women who pursue all manner of new enterprises, its focus will be for science and technology entrepreneurs. We welcome all respectful input from men and women that can help propel the success of women entrepreneurs.
 From “Closing the Gap”: “[Women] have made great strides in all kinds of careers, but they still find it much harder than men to bag the most senior jobs. The picture is much the same everywhere: men and women fresh out of college or university are being recruited in roughly equal numbers; half-way up the ladder a lot of the women have already dropped out; and at the top there are hardly any left. The rate of attrition in the middle ranks has slowed a bit in recent years, but the most senior jobs remain almost exclusively male. Women make up just 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs.”
 From “The Cashier and the Carpenter”: “Women run about a third of small businesses in rich countries, but it is not an easy option. They find it even harder than men to line up finance, so their start-ups are often undercapitalised. The businesses are typically smaller than those headed by men, generate fewer jobs and have a lower turnover [i.e., revenue].”
'Her in Chief
Jill Fishbein is partner and co-chair of the Corporate Practice Group of Carr & Ferrell. Ms. Fishbein’s practice focuses on corporate and securities work for both public and private companies, as well as venture capital firms and other financial institutions,
with particular emphasis on the representation of growth technology and life science companies.