Social Media Trends...Where are the Women?

What do social media trends Twitter, Facebook, Zynga, Groupon and Foursquare all have in common? Hmm, can’t guess?...well, none of them have any women as directors, zilch. What’s extraordinary is that most of these social media giants are run by what I consider progressive, free-thinking and open-minded male entrepreneurs, who are young enough to be part of a new generation, a new way of thinking and more pro towards equality and diversity in the workplace. Another, extraordinary fact and ironic is that each of these companies has a massive base of women consumers, in some cases well over 50 percent of its social media trends audience.

Looking at Twitter, maybe it’s not for lack its lack of trying as this microblogging site recently added three new members to its board, all of which were long-time Silicon Valley talent.; Peter Currie; Mike McCue, Flipboard CEO and co-founder and David Rosenblatt, former DoubleClick leader. May be Twitter did not extend its search far enough or wide enough; though some sources reveal that while at least one prominent online woman executive was considered, there were some legitimate issues with her appointment, and it was not completed.

Things are not any better over at Facebook, the world's largest and most successful social networking platform, which has several prominent women execs running things, with particular reference to its high-profile COO Sheryl Sandberg. However, though Ms Sandberg does attend board meetings, she is not yet a director of the social media trends platform, Facebook and nor is any other woman. Instead, the Facebook board is all male all the time, composed of CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, prominent techie and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, investor Peter Thiel, Accel Partners’ Jim Breyer and Washington Post head Don Graham.

While, at Zynga, the hot social gaming company it continues the outlook with an all star male cast, despite a very heavily female audience for its casual social games. The same is true at woman-targeted–spas, spas and more spas–social buying site Groupon, which has an unusually large board for a start-up and made up of–as per usual–all men.

There is no question it is tough to make sure there is a good balance of qualified women leaders to men in tech, but it can be done, especially at public tech companies. Google has two women on its board of nine directors; Yahoo has three of 10; even Oracle has two of a dozen. But a grand total of zero at the leading companies of Web 2.0 is not just a coincidence. It’s a shame. Here's Sheryl Sandberg rousing talk at a TED event for women, in a great speech titled, ‘Why We Have So Few Women Leaders’ Sheryl Sandberg

Photo Credit: purpleslog