Venture capitalists in search of women to back

IN HER 1995 movie, Something to Talk About, Julia Roberts&rsquo; character stands up in a local women&rsquo;s society meeting in the American South somewhere, and shouts across the room: &ldquo;Is there anyone else here who has slept with my husband and would like to tell me about it?&rdquo; Classic Julia &ndash; getting &ldquo;it&rdquo; all out of her system loudly!<br /><br />Harriet Harman used her week in power to get her position across on the unfair treatment of women. The message failed to achieve its goal. I have long felt that it was a huge advantage to be a woman. But I also see examples of sexism constantly in society. People in power only do what can be shown to be in their interests. You can bang on about ideology but it is best to appeal to their rational side. <br /><br />We need more examples of how women make money as leaders of businesses where male shareholders benefit. Caroline Plumb of Fresh Minds has created an outstandingly successful market research firm, and managed to secure David Verey as an adviser no less. Fresh Minds made a tidy profit last year, and is exploring new business areas.<br /><br />Last week, I wrote about Christina Domecq who leads SpinVox. Surely if anyone had a right to stand up and ask &ldquo;does anyone else out there want to take aim and fire at me?&rdquo; in Julia Roberts fashion, Christina would have a right to be upset at the recent allegations. <br /><br />Journalists and bloggers have accused the firm of not paying suppliers, and of not possessing the intellectual property that can convert spoken voice mails into text, instead relying on an army of call centre workers.<br /><br />You&rsquo;ve never seen a more calm leader at the helm, however. She has her board of directors fully behind her. Ultimately feminism should be about women being able to achieve their unique contribution to the world. There cannot be any engineered fairness, only an acceptance of your responsibility to architect your life. Life is fundamentally unfair.<br /><br />Martin Luther King said that he had a dream that his children would not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character. Women too don&rsquo;t want to be judged by their sex, but by their contribution to society. <br /><br />Venture capitalists wonder sometimes where the women are who are backable. It&rsquo;s hard work building a great company, and the Caroline Plumb&rsquo;s, Sara Murray&rsquo;s of Buddi, Marie Wold&rsquo;s of On Relay, Carrie Marsh of Mydeo, and Christina Domecq&rsquo;s are the pioneers. <br /><br />By creating their own cathedrals, they have the best chance of proving that they are backable. <br /><br />Making money for shareholders will catch men&rsquo;s attention as well as women.<br /><br />Julie Meyer is chief executive of Ariadne Capital. SpinVox is a portfolio company of Ariadne Capital.