Entrepreneur

Women founders lead 20% of funded tech startups at Y Combinator

Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator has published the gender makeup of their founders.

About one in four applicants are female (24 percent), and one in five get selected for funding (20 percent), according to data provided by YC president Sam Altman. Only about 10 percent of companies that achieve greater than $100 million in valuation end up having a female CEO.

“Sexism in tech is real. One of the most insidious things happening in the debate is people claiming versions of ‘other industries may have problems with sexism, but our industry doesn’t,’ ” he writes on the company blog.

Most major Internet companies have released the gender diversity of the workplace, including the leadership. At Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others, men make up about 75 percent of the leadership.

Y Combinator is on par with the venture-backed industry, generally. According to one study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 percent of business with high-growth potential have been founded or led by a woman [PDF]. It’s notable that the study also finds that attractive men are more likely to get funding.

Altman and most other companies seemed to be unanimous in their belief that the industry could do a better job recruiting talent. Although, they’ll have to start early. Women represent only 19 percent of AP computer science test takers and 18 percent of computer science majors.

You can read more about diversity at Y Combinator in their official blog post here.


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2 comments
Joseph Massaro
Joseph Massaro

Why is it assumed sexist if it's not a perfect 50% split? I'm dumbfounded that people think everything must be EQUAL. There are jobs out there in the world that are going to lead themselves to a higher male or female rate given the job role, levels of risk, stress, etc. Men and woman are chemically different- not everything is going to be equal. Paul Graham is not going to turn down an investment in a woman led startup- he's actually a huge proponent of women in the workplace. The more probable answer is that he has simply fewer to pick from given the actual number of women led companies.