Jun 30, 2017

The time I exchanged emails with a billionaire

When I saw this interview with Sir Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital, I wasn't even upset. I was bored! The pipeline excuse for not hiring women and minorities is so tired. And, of course, every time one of these boring companies gets caught, they hire a token woman/minority who is "every bit as qualified as her peers." Snooze cruise!

Anyway, based on the clip, my mom and I thought it would be kind of funny to email Sir Moritz my resume. So, after a little digging for an email address, I did. And I got a response from Sir Moritz, himself, connecting me to their human resources department. And then I got an unobjectionable response from Jamie Bott, who runs human resources for Sequoia, declining to offer me an interview.

The reason Ms. Bott cited in her email was that they didn't have a position for someone with my background, that I would be a better fit for an engineering role. The criticism is accurate enough. I don't have a finance degree. I am quite surprised and flattered that I got a response at all.

BUUUUUUT, that reason -- "you should stick with engineering" -- was the same reason cited by all but two of the ONE HUNDRED AND TWO investment banks/hedge funds/private equity firms I applied to during my senior year at college. (I'm in business school now; i.e., I'm fine. Don't cry for me, Argentina.)

Meanwhile, the partners at Sequoia are all Classics majors. (Direct Moritz quote: "Women, particularly in America, and also in Europe, tend to elect not to study the sciences when they're 11 and 12. So, suddenly, the hiring pool is much smaller.") Moritz, himself, was a history major and a journalist prior to becoming a venture capitalist.

This is my opinion: If you don't want to change your hiring strategy, then don't. But we women are BORED of the men in charge being all talk and no action. You have three billion dollars. Surely some of that could be spent on improving your implicit bias training and recruiting methods?