Nov 4, 2019

Women still own way less startup equity than men

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Adapted from Carta; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Female entrepreneurs have less equity in their own companies than do male entrepreneurs, according to a new report from Carta.

Why it matters: This directly contributes to the gender wealth gap.

By the numbers:

  • Women represent 13% of startup founders but own just 7% of founder equity.
  • Women make up 34% of startup employees but hold just 20% of startup employee equity.
  • Female employees are 31% of all equity owners, but hold just 6% of total startup equity.
  • Women are only 20% of equity holders worth at least $1 million, 15% of those with $10 million or more, and only 12% of those with $100 million.

Between the lines: “What we hypothesize is that within founding teams, not everyone gets the same amount of equity,” Carta marketing chief Emily Kramer tells Axios.

  • Other possible explanation include female founders selling bigger stakes to investors than do their male peers, and creating bigger employee options pools.

Women also are under-represented among startup employees with large equity grants.

  • CEOs get more than twice as much equity as the next highest compensated executive, yet only 13% are women.
  • In the C-suite, women are most represented among chief marketing officers (32%) but it’s the position with the lowest median equity.
  • Junior and mid-level engineers receive more than twice as much equity as other employees, yet women only make up 20% of entry-level engineers and that percentage decreases with seniority.

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Tuesday's House of Representatives hearing on private equity landed with a whimper, after more than a week of escalating rhetoric from progressive Democrats.

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How private equity is fueled by public pension plans

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

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What happened: While Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandia Ocasio-Cortez each tweeted that private equity must be "reined in," they'll need to publicly wrestle at some point with how private equity is fueled by public pension systems that they otherwise support.

Go deeperArrowNov 18, 2019

Private equity on defense in Washington

What's believed to be the first congressional hearing in recent years squarely focused on the practices of private equity firms is happening later this morning.

Why it matters: Private equity is facing "the most serious political challenge it has seen in years," per the WSJ.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019