By Makeda Easter
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new study reveals that at women-led firms, females made up 23 percent of the engineering teams, 2.3 times the average at firms led by men.
Los Angeles Times
Startups with at least one female founder wind up building companies where nearly half the staff are women, a new study finds.
With an average of 48 percent female workers, women-led firms have nearly twice the industry average and outpace some of the nation’s largest tech companies in gender diversity including Google (31 percent), Facebook (33 percent) and Uber (36 percent), according to the study by online startup investing platform FundersClub that surveyed 85 U.S.-based tech startups.
Alex Mittal, co-founder and chief executive of FundersClub, said startups are key to addressing gender diversity in the workplace because the ones that succeed may someday be massive companies. (The majority of startups surveyed had fewer than 20 employees).
They “have the potential to become huge, they’re great agents for change,” said Mittal, a co-author of the study.
The study also examined the effect of female tech founders on leadership and engineering teams.
Women made up 38 percent of executives at firms with at least one female founder, 2.4 times the average at startups with no female founders.
At women-led firms, females made up 23 percent of the engineering teams, 2.3 times the average at firms led by men.
The findings come on the heels of a months-long investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at Uber, which has elevated awareness of what has long been one of the tech industry’s biggest deficiencies.
Mittal said the timing was simply a coincidence. Women in the industry say the survey’s findings are no surprise.
“Top female talent is more attracted to work on a team where they can see themselves in leadership and know that is respected in the company,” said KJ Erickson, the CEO of Simbi, a service exchange platform.