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Questions Posed in Startup Funding Suggest Gender Bias

Questions Posed in Startup Funding Suggest Gender Bias
The Wall Street Journal
By Kelsey Gee
Published: July 11, 2017

Women entrepreneurs receive a tiny fraction venture capital funds, and new research points to a surprising reason why: the questions investors ask female founders.

A team of management and psychology researchers examined how venture investors interacted with entrepreneurs at TechCrunch’s New York startup competition over seven years and found that VC funds typically asked male founders questions about how their companies will succeed, while posing questions to women founders about how they would avoid failure.
While women have founded nearly 40% of all privately held companies in the U.S., they have fetched just 3% of all venture capital, according to data from venture-capital tracker PitchBook Data Inc.

As a recent string of scandals call attention to the tech sector’s treatment of women, ranging from pay disparities to charges of sexual misconduct, the researchers plan to present their examination into why women-led startups receive such a paucity of VC funding at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management next month.

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