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Venture Capital Startups

Women Hold Less Than Half the Startup Equity of Men, Study Finds

When it comes to stock grants at private tech companies, the gap between men and women appears wider than the wage gap, according to a new study by Carta, which provides services to help startups track their stock ownership. The analysis of more than 6,000 venture-backed private companies found that on average, female equity-holding employees own 47 cents worth of stock for every dollar owned by men. That could flow from other systemic issues, including that women make up fewer of the earlier employees of a company and are less represented in the ranks of engineers. Early employees and engineers tend to receive larger equity grants.

Female founders also own less than half of the equity value of male founders on average, which may be in part because female-founded companies attain lower valuations and receive less investment, according to a response to the study from the investment collective #Angels. The study is a valuable look at issues around private stock ownership, which is one of the most opaque and important parts of the tech industry.

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