Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Venture Capitalism is a "Meritocracy"

Catchy headline no?  Well this is a semi-sidebar on the whole "Rise of the Meritocracy" series that came up in May.  I noted it and am noting it now mostly to point out that the notion of meritocracy is a concept embraced in the modern world and still in the vernacular of popular culture.  In this particular instance it carries a more insidious undertone related to sexism and to a lesser degree racism.  The particular article was on Techcrunch after a Partner at a Venture Capital firm filed a sexual harassment suit.  The firm itself is well regarded as a pioneer in gender equality as it was the first to have female partners in the US, and has multiple funds managed by female partners.  It was shocking in that no one expected it of a firm considered progressive.

The author has a slant, but it is interesting that the panel was comprised of all men and only one had the stones to take on the question of sexism in the industry.  Of further concern is that the one man that did answer from the all white male panel dismissed the notion that there was sexism because venture capitalism was a meritocracy.  Nope nothing to see here, that woman's claims are without merit.

So sidebar it may be, but here you have gender politics and privilege wrapped up in a word coined just after the second world war.

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