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Executive-level positions are particularly hard to come by at startups founded by men
Female executives in male-founded tech companies are more likely to head HR than to hold other leadership positions, and that's if they're among the relative few who make it to the C-suite, a new study reveals.
U.S. tech startups have made little headway in getting women on boards of directors and in executive suites in recent years. This despite growing industry attention on women's underrepresentation in those arenas, according to Silicon Valley Bank's (SVB's) 2017 Women in Technology Leadership report.
Seventy percent of U.S. firms responding to the survey don't have any women on their boards, the report found, and more than half (54 percent) have no female executives; both percentages are higher than those reported in the previous two years. In 2015 and 2016, the percentage of U.S. startups with no female directors stood at 68 percent and 66 percent, respectively, while 53 percent had no female executives in 2015 and 46 percent had no women in the C-suite last year.
A quarter of U.S. startups, meanwhile, say they have programs aimed at increasing the number of women in leadership roles—a consistent figure year over year—according to the report, which is based on a survey of nearly 950 startup executives mostly in the United States, the United Kingdom and China.
The figures for women in leadership roles were similar for the entire global survey population (68 percent with no women on boards, 53 percent with no women in the C-suite), although Chinese startups have significantly more female executives.
The survey found that, overall, women in the executive suites of female-founded companies were more likely to be chief executive officers, chief operations officers, or chief technology officers, with 47 percent in the chief executive's office.
"We expected to see more women in leadership positions this year, and instead our survey shows how little progress is being made," said Claire Lee, director and head of SVB's Early Stage Practice, in a press release. "We cannot be deceived by our seemingly large network of talented and successful female founders, investors, board members and innovators. The data show us these women remain a lonely minority in the technology world."
[SHRM members-only toolkit: Staffing Technology Professionals]
Male- Vs. Female-Founded Companies
SVB found that women in the C-suites of male-founded companies tend to be:
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