Forbes: When Men Dominate Startups, Women Take A Pass, According To New Research

23 Jan 2023
Women tend to be underrepresented in startup companies.

Originally found at Forbes

Women are caught in a “vicious cycle” of underrepresentation in startups, according to new research. If the earliest hiring decisions at a new company exclude women, which they often do, then the organization will have difficulty attracting female talent in the future. As a result, entrepreneurial companies that start with gender disparities have a tough time correcting the imbalance.

The research, published in the Academy of Management Journal, examined over a half million decisions by more than 8,000 job seekers from a job-search app focused on job listings for startup companies. Job seekers could swipe through the app’s Tinder-like interface by deciding whether or not to express their interest in each job ad they viewed. Each job description on the app included the gender makeup of the organization.

The researchers found that male-dominated startups attracted fewer women. When women made up less than 15% of an organization’s workforce, female applicants were almost 30% less likely to apply than their male counterparts. The more gender-balanced the organization, the more likely women were to apply. For organizations where women represented more than a third of the workforce, the gender composition of the company no longer had a significant impact on the gender gap in job applications.

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