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Kara Nortman: “We can’t all be flame throwers”
In  2018, it’s become fashionable to identify as a “female VC” or a “female  founder”... it’s even become badass to hold a baby while ringing an IPO  bell, or have the courage to take full maternity leave. VCs at major firms like Sequoia’s Jess Lee are even declaring themselves “the girly investor.” 

I’ll  take all of that from the Silicon Valley I moved to where calling a  female VC a female VC was considered an insult. Words matter. So do  actions though-- or more to the point, so does capital invested.  And I’m anxious to see how many more women get funded as a result of all  this arm linking in 2018. Because so far the numbers, and the anecdotes  I hear from women raising, are still pretty bleak. 

Kara  Nortman is one of those VCs who started pulling groups of women  together and talking about these issues, before it became the thing  everyone was doing. She’s a general partner at UpFront ventures, one of  the more outspoken firms when it comes to diversity and equality. (For  instance, general partner Mark Suster was one of the only VCs to weigh  in on the scandal surrounding VC Shervin Pishevar.)

Still, Nortman’s style isn’t to be a flamethrower. It’s more measured and diplomatic, but also more direct and consistent. 

In  this episode of our “Uterus is a feature not a bug” podcast we talk to  Nortman about how and when to stand up for women in rooms full of men.  We talk about how another working mom eased her transition back into  work, back when she was at IAC. And we talk about her friendship with  other badass women like Kerry Washington.