Celebrating Remarkable Female Founders on International Women’s Day
Did you know that startups with female founders and co-founders are significantly better financial investments? A report by Boston Consulting Group found that for every dollar of funding, startups founded and co-founded by females generated 78 cents, while startups with male founders generated less than half that — just 31 cents.
The research doesn’t end there. McKinsey, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and the Peterson Institute for International Economics all found that having a high percentage of women in a company’s senior leadership results in significantly better financial results.
What more proof do you need? Well, we’re proud to say that almost half of the 25 startups who have been through our 16-week accelerator program over the past four years are led by female founders or co-founders. And they have been amongst our most successful startups so far.
If you’ve been following startup news lately, you may have seen that our very own, Entrepreneur in Residence, Alan Jones’ Facebook post, or the articles that have followed, on the topic of affirmative action. If you haven’t, it’s worth checking out. As Alan said in a follow-up story in the AFR, “We’re meant to be the experimenters. We’re supposed to be the people that say maybe merit and quotas can co-exist. But so that we can get to that position … perhaps you need to find more women first.” Go Alan!
We know that there is still a long way to go, so we asked some of our outstanding female founders to share with us their advice for future female founders…
Cheryl Gledhill, Co-Founder of JobMatcher said “My advice is ‘you belong here too’. It’s so easy to let the self-doubt and imposter syndrome get to you, but please just keep believing that you have a place here too and you don’t need to make yourself smaller or apologise for taking up space. You belong here.”
“My wish is that we don’t need to specifically call out female founders because it’s so completely normal that it would be weird that it’s pointed out that you’re a female founder. You’re just a founder.”
Elisabeth Yunarko, Co-Founder of Spokle commented on her hope for future female founders, “I want to see more of us around, more of our ideas being taken seriously, backed up earlier, and supported to reach commercial success in the long haul. Perhaps the conversations can start early on – at the dinner table, with our daughters and granddaughters so they can see that the path is there.”
With the theme for this years’ International Women’s Day being Each for Equal, we encourage each and every one of you to do your part to make a difference. Each of us has a role to play in making the world a more equal and inclusive place. As Cheryl says, in the future, we won’t need to call out female founders, they will just be founders.