Have you seen the latest “women are getting hosed” data from Carta this week? If you are a female founder, you better sit down. It turns out women get dramatically less equity in startups.
Here are the facts, per the study:
- Women make up 35% of equity-holding employees, but hold only 20% of employee equity.
- Female equity-holding employees own just 47 cents for every dollar male employees own.
- Women represent 29% of employees at companies with up to 10 employees. Female representation doesn’t exceed 40% until companies approach 400 employees.
- Women make up 13% of founders, but hold 6% of founder equity.
- Female founders own just 39 cents for every dollar of equity male founders own
I’m always grateful for more data, but this shouldn’t come as a shock to any women who work at startups. But, as someone in the trenches, the explanations why are more complex than most of the thought pieces I’ve read on the study this week.
Yes, as most people know, founders don’t get equal equity. The role you have at the company matters, which is why I have long argued that focusing on comparatively “feel good” numbers about how much money goes to female founders versus how much money goes to female CEOs clouds how well women are actually doing in tech.