More women poised to take up leadership positions in startups worldwide: report

Updated 2018-02-23 11:23:03 Xinhua

An increasing number of women are expected to take up leadership positions in startup companies across the world, a leading U.S. bank said in a report Thursday.

Although 67 percent of startups surveyed have no women on their boards and 51 percent have no women in executive positions, more startups are rolling out programs to put women in leadership, with the number jumping from 28 percent to 43 percent over the past year, said Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), one of the largest banks in the United States that focus on tech firms and innovation.

In its ninth annual Startup Outlook 2018 report, SVB surveyed 1,045 startup executives primarily in the United States, Britain and China, and found that a quarter of startups globally had a female founder or co-founder.

SVB compared startups' views of the innovation economy based on the gender of their founders, and discovered that little progress has been made in technology leadership in the United States in the past three years.

It said companies with at least one female founder complained that the fundraising environment is more challenging, and those firms tend to rely more heavily on angel and individual investors and less on venture capitalists than startups with no female founders.

As to their programs to increase the proportion of women in leadership, the startups said they are adopting various measures to attract more women employees, such as changing the way job descriptions are written to mitigate potential unconscious bias against women candidates and encouraging industry involvement in female-focused organizations.

"Our clients are always looking at what's next, how to improve on the status quo, and once they decide to do something they move quickly," said SVB Chief Executive Officer Greg Becker.

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