When women are thrown in a room and then filmed for reality television, things can get pretty crazy. Even if there isn’t a designated competition they are supposed to be participating in, one automatically forms regardless. On the Real Housewives of Insert City, the cast competes on everything from who has the most money to friendships to who has the most important charity (which entirely defeats the purpose). Shows where women compete for love are even worse. Women degrade themselves over a mediocre guy who promises them the world (BECAUSE HE IS ON CAMERA). Even on cooking, modeling and adventure competition shows, the women are often portrayed as catty and crazy while the guys are just looked at as competitive.
But when I heard there would be a reality competition show for female entrepreneurs, I reconsidered my hatred of the genre. Because unlike shows about modeling or just being rich, these contestants will actually be building and creating amazing projects and companies. The series is the brainchild of 44 Blue Productions and Jesse Draper, creator and host of the online business talk show The Valley Girl Show. The reality show will be called What Women Really Want and is slated to go into production this fall.
Will this be a bunch of women competing in a room? Yes. But will it be different than other reality competition shows with women? Absolutely. First of all, there has never been a more exciting time to be a female entrepreneur, Draper said in an exclusive interview with The Jane Dough. And she should know, considering she is one and interviews them on a daily basis (including the female founders of TheSkimm, Sheryl Sandberg and Autumn Reeser.)
“It could not be a better time for a female entrepreneur show. It is just going to be fantastic,” she said. She added that Sandberg’s Lean In movement has also contributed to this being the perfect time for a show like this. Draper’s Valley Girl show will also be a television series as part of this development deal.
The number of women starting tech companies nationally has doubled the past three years, according to an informal poll by Women 2.0. Advances in technology, lower infrastructure costs and ample angel investing have made it easier to launch an early-stage company, says Leah Busque, CEO of TaskRabbit, an eBay of sorts for odd jobs. Newer technologies, such as cloud computing, reduce infrastructure costs. And coding isn’t as onerous as it once was. Those changes have allowed entrepreneurs to build products faster and land funding sooner. This has led to all but two of the 19 U.S. high-tech IPOs in 2009 having at least one female officer. Compare that with 1988, when only 4% of the 134 firms that went public in the U.S. had women in top management spots.