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Only 17 Percent of Venture-Backed Startups Are Led by Women

The number has been flat since 2012.
Only 17 Percent of Venture-Backed Startups Are Led by Women
Image credit: Shutterstock

When it comes to gender parity in the business world, the numbers aren’t particularly heartening, and a new statistic from startup database Crunchbase doesn't make the situation any better: Currently, just 17 percent of startups have a female founder.

Not only that, but that number hasn’t changed since 2012. There was an 8 percent increase in the years between 2009 and 2012, but no significant growth in the last five years.

The fundraising numbers aren’t great either. Last year, companies with at least one female founder raised only 19 percent of all seed rounds, 14 percent of early-stage venture round and 8 percent of late stage venture rounds. Women-run companies also only raised 17 percent of angel or seed dollars, 13 percent of early-stage dollars and 7 percent of late-stage dollars.

Related: Women Won't Have Equal Numbers of Board Seats Until 2055, New Study Finds

Looking at all of the fundraising in 2016, $94 billion was invested in companies that were founded by only men, while $10 billion went to companies with at least one woman founder.

Unfortunately, this stagnating of thriving companies with female leadership is only one piece of the puzzle. Last year, the World Economic Forum predicted that the global gender pay gap, at the rate we are going, won't be bridged until 2186.

For representation on boards it’s a little better, but when over a century is your timeline, that’s a low hurdle to clear. Equilar, a research firm that focuses on board recruitment, predicted this year that the board of directors for 3,000 largest companies based in the United States would be split 50/50 men and women by 2055.