Top 10 female run startups: the best answer to gender inequality

25.06.2019.Francesco De Santis.0 Likes.0 Comments

Gender imbalance in the workforce emerged as one of the main issues in today’s workplace. We still see very few women in leadership teams, and wages inequality between men and women is still a reality in multiple organizations. Despite they represent roughly 50% of the total workforce in S&P 500 companies, only 5% of CEOs are women.[1] Still too low.

Many companies have recognized that this is not a myth but a real issue that needs to be addressed and it’s a good novelty to see the proliferation of initiatives like equal pay certificates and an overall flexibility to accommodate different employees needs.  

Another positive sign emerges from the research from Pew Research Center survey[2], where we learn that “today’s young women are starting their careers better educated than their male counterparts”, as well as that, compared to previous generation, there is an overall improvement and higher trust in the future.

What about startups? For companies that endorse innovation, progress and the aim of creating a better world in their DNA, we would not expect to see any bad old-time heritage, right?


While majority of the tech ecosystem agrees that diversity is vital for quality and innovation, it remains a male dominated environment, with only 6% of female CEOs and a mere 1% when it comes to CTOs.[3]

One reason behind this low incidence comes from the difficult of raising funds. As brutal as it is: for women founders it is harder to secure VC support and to raise the money they need to scale their business. Translating this sentence in one number, makes it 2%. Indeed only 2% of the companies having raised funds last year in Europe, are run by women.[4]

Looking at the largest VC deals in 2018, the discrepancy between rounds for female run and male run startups are immediately clear directly from the currency measure: Bn$ for men and M$ for women.

Largest vc deals

Acknowledging the problem is a first step to head to a solution and – like we have seen for corporations – also in the startup world, many initiatives are taking places from dedicated accelerators, vc funds and meetups.

Best than anything else, however, is the quality of some of the startups led by female founders. Here is our top 10:

Zume Pizza: Zume has established a formula for partnering people with technology that creates a more thoughtful and efficient way to source, make, bake, and deliver pizza.

Nextdoor: the world’s largest private communications platform for neighborhoods. On Nextdoor, neighbors create private online communities that help build stronger and safer places to call home.

Reclip.It: personalized shopping list app that helps people save money by matching list items with digital coupons and weekly ads from top retail stores.

TomboyX: fashion-based company selling clothing for all bodies, regardless of where they fall on the size or gender spectrum.

The Riveter: a national membership network offering content, community and coworking spaces, all designed with a focus on women in work.

Beautycounter: a cosmetic brand selling highly effective skin care, body and hair products, and cosmetics that are safe for consumers

Blendoor: leveraging on technology to combat bias in hiring, it provides a mobile job matching app that hides candidate name and photo to circumvent unconscious bias & facilitate diversity recruiting.

Gixo: it offers highly motivational, professional coaches teaching live classes to people of all fitness levels in all locations, making exercise more accessible in people’s busy lives.

Mamava: it uses technology to serve the needs of the twenty-first century mama on the go, revolutionizing the breastfeeding experience for traveling and working mamas to make it more optimistic, realistic, and accessible.

Motivo: the largest platform for therapist telesupervision connecting pre-licensed therapists with clinical supervisors through secure video conference.





Categories: VC Industry
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