NEWS AND INSIGHTS UPDATE:
Venture-backed startups with women at the helm are more successful than startups led by men. That’s according to a study conducted by Dow Jones which analyzed more than 15 years of venture-backed company data and executive information to compare successful versus unsuccessful companies.
The Women at the Wheel study revealed:
- A company’s odds for success (versus unsuccess) increase with more female executives at the VP and director levels.
- For start-ups with five or more females, 61% were successful and only 39% failed.
- The overall median proportion of female executives is 7.1% at successful companies and 3.1% at unsuccessful companies, demonstrating the value that having more females can potentially bring to a management team.
- 1.3% of privately held companies have a female founder, 6.5% have a female CEO, and 20% have one or more female C-level executives.
- The most common positions held by female executives were within Sales & Marketing roles, accounting for 27% of the total population sample.
- By industry, the median proportion of female executives at successful companies is higher than that of unsuccessful companies in the IT, healthcare, consumer services, and business and financial services industries, which are the four largest sectors.
Surprised? Alden Wicker of LearnVest urges, “Next time you read a breathless account of a new start-up, make sure to ask in the comments, ‘So, does it have any female executives?'”
Get the details: Study Says Successful Startups Are Run by Women via www.learnvest.com
Greg Marcus says
Interesting. Susan, what about companies where the only sr women are sales and marketing? I suspect they would not be as successful, because those positions are not powerful enough to impact the overall culture.
Susan Gunelius says
Greg, That’s a great question and I’d love to see some follow-up research that gets the answer! I suspect you’re probably right. As a 20-year marketing veteran who spent half of my career in marketing departments for some of the largest companies in the world, I suspect that your guess is probably accurate for the majority of companies — not because sales and marketing isn’t important, but because the role is too often treated as “second class” in executive circles.