Only 17% of Startups Had a Female Founder in 2017

Whitney Wolfe, Founder of Bumble (Travel + Leisure)

Whitney Wolfe, Founder of Bumble (Travel + Leisure)

Quick, how many female founders of startups can you name (without Googling)? Let’s see, there’s Sophia Amoruso of NastyGal (RIP!), Whitney Wolfe of Bumble, Jenn Hyman of Rent the Runway, and…who else?

Contrast that with how many male startup founders you could name (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, etc.) and you could go on for days. And that’s without Googling. And without naming their respective companies (Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Tesla, in case you’e wondering.)

Why can’t we name more female founders? Do they exist?

Well, yes and no. Crunchbase, a platform that crunches (heh) data for many companies around the world, has been running a study on female founders of start-ups since 2015. And what they found will SHOCK you.

Actually, no it won’t. Only 17% of startups had a female founder as of Q1 2017 (the last recorded study). 17 PERCENT. THIS IS NOT PARITY.

What makes this number worse is that this percentage has persisted since 2012. So women have only have the best seats at the table less than 1/5th of the time for 5 years.

Ladies, let’s start some companies!! Who’s with me?!

Advertisements

No Shit: Tech Startups Founded by Women Have Almost 50% More Female Employees

Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of beauty startup Glossier (Time)

Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of beauty startup Glossier (Time)

Guess what, everyone? It turns out that tech start-ups that were founded by women…wait for it…have more female employees than tech start-ups founded by men. Can you believe it? Not only that, but these female-founded startups have almost 50% more female employees.

I think I can speak for all of us when I say: NO. SHIT.

How was this surprising insight uncovered, you ask? FundersClub, an “online start-up investing platform,” surveyed 85 tech start-ups based in the US. Most of these start-ups measured fewer than 20 employees. Within this survey, the gender breakdown at women-led start-ups registered as 48% female. As the “LA Times” notes, the 48% women stat at women-led start-ups beats the gender breakdowns at the top tech companies. Uber has 36% women, Facebook has 33% women, Apple has 32% women, and Google lags behind with 31% women within the respective companies.

A woman founder begets more women, which leads to a more gender-balanced company. Who knew?!

 

 

 

Facebook Can Tell When You’re In a Relationship

Facebook Relationship Status interface (Daily Mail UK)

Facebook Relationship Status interface (Daily Mail UK)

It’s no secret that Facebook knows everything about its users at this point. The social network knows your favorite movies and TV shows, where you’ve worked, and what you read. Of course, this is all information users manually input. But Facebook can also glean information from a user’s patterns of how they use the site. One thing Facebook can tell from this is when a user starts a relationship.

In 2014, Facebook’s data scientists noticed something interesting: When a couple enters the courtship period, timeline posts increase (presumably both for interaction purposes, and so the other party can see how awesome/funny/interesting, etc. the first person is).

For the visual learners, here’s a chart to illustrate this:

Facebook activity as it relates to relationship status (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Facebook activity as it relates to relationship status (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Once two people are firmly “in a relationship” (as defined by posting an anniversary date), the number of posts decrease, but the tone of said posts becomes happier overall. This probably points to the fact that the couple are spending more time together in person and have no need to post on each other’s walls.

Here’s what that looks like:

Facebook activity in terms of relationship status and positive emotions (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Facebook activity in terms of relationship status and positive emotions (The Atlantic/Facebook)

According to Facebook Data Scientist Carlos Diuk, here’s how the data science behind the study breaks down:

During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple. When the relationship starts (“day 0”), posts begin to decrease. We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship. Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world.

Facebook’s parameters for this study were users who had “Single” as their relationship status 100 days before changing it to “In a Relationship,” and who were in a relationship 85 days after their posted anniversary date. Anniversary dates used were between April 11, 2010 and October 21, 2013.

In other words, Facebook can tell when you’re…Facebook official.

Trends: Opening Up About Miscarriages

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, 2015 (Business Insider)

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg (Business Insider)

When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that his wife was pregnant with their first child last summer, he made another important statement: that his wife Priscilla had endured three miscarriages over the course of three years.

It’s a huge thing to acknowledge, especially since it seems that any narrative other than an easy pregnancy is given short shift. I applaud Zuckerberg for speaking up about what he and his wife went through, and what many more people work through.

But he hasn’t been the only one. Lately, many celebrities/people with social influence have been speaking up about that painful time in their lives.

Actress Eva Amurri Martino experienced a miscarriage as well, and spoke about it publicly two weeks after Zuckererg’s announcement. Martino’s miscarriage occurred around nine weeks after conception. Earlier this year, actress Kimberly McCullough revealed that she’d suffered a miscarriage last year, losing her baby at 22 weeks.

Shining a light on something helps to normalize it, and hopefully these confessions will encourage others to open up about their personal experiences. We need to keep talking about miscarriages to destigmatize them.

#ThrowbackThursday: Mark Zuckerberg and Pregnant Priscilla Chan, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, 2015 (Business Insider)

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg (Business Insider)

On July 31, 2015, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on (where else?) Facebook that he and his wife Priscilla were expecting a baby girl. He also revealed that the couple had weathered three miscarriages in the span of two years.

Zuckerberg rarely posts personal things on his own site, so this was a break from routine for him. The confession earned him praise.

The Zuckerbergs’ daughter Max was born on Dec. 1, 2015.

Aydian Dowling Could Be The First Trans “Ultimate Guy” for “Mens Health”

Aydian Dowling (Facebook)

Aydian Dowling (Facebook)

This past week has been a banner one for the trans community. First, Laverne Cox stripped down for “Allure” to help empower her various communities (black, woman, transgender). And now, fitness magazine “Men’s Health” might soon have its first transgender cover model.

Twenty-seven-year-old Aydian Dowling from Eugene, Oregon currently leads the magazine’s “Ultimate Guy” search, which searches for the man who “possesses all of the qualities that make up today’s well rounded, active, health conscious and thoughtful guy; is fit and fearless and leads by example.”

Dowling certainly meets those requirements. He began transitioning using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in Oct. 2009, and had top surgery (which removed his breasts) three years later. In terms of leading by example, Dowling is also a fitness entrepreneur: He created YouTube channel Beefheads Fitness, which focuses on fitness for trans people. He saw an opportunity within the marketplace when he realized that nobody was filling that void, and decided to step in. Dowling also gives back by donating some profits from his clothing company to help transmen pay for top surgery.

As of Sunday night, Dowling sits atop the “Reader’s Choice” leaderboard:

'Men's Health' Ultimate Guy Contest Leaderboard April 19, 2015

‘Men’s Health’ Ultimate Guy Contest Leaderboard April 19, 2015

The rankings are based on user votes, so anyone who comes to the website can decide whether to vote or not. (As you can see, there’s some self-selection bias at play here. But in this case, it might not be such a bad thing.)

Dowling has pretty much blown every other ranked contestant out of the water at this point. Brian Taylor, currently in second place, hasn’t even received 25% of the votes that Dowling has.

The winner of the “Ultimate Guy” contest will be featured on the “Men’s Health” November 2015 issue cover. The magazine’s editors note that “the winner of the reader vote isn’t guaranteed to win the contest, but will be in the top 10 finalists.” It’s very exciting that we’re potentially watching history in the making, and that this represents a large shift in terms of (re-)defining ideas of mainstream masculinity. And we really hope that the “Men’s Health” editors award Dowling the title, if he wins the reader poll.

 

#ThrowbackThursday: Abercrombie & Fitch Ad, 2012

Abercrombie and Fitch ad shot by Bruce Weber (Towleroad)

Abercrombie and Fitch ad shot by Bruce Weber (Towleroad)

Three years ago, acclaimed photographer Bruce Weber shot a promo for Abercrombie & Fitch that featured handsome male models doing things all guys do: wrestling, showering, and kissing.

That last one is depicted up top. Later, the clothing brand claimed that the video (and three related others) were part of an official A&F campaign, even though Weber had identified the video as such on his Facebook page.

Regardless, it’s still a cool image. Abercrombie will always be the first softcore your 13-year-old self squealed over, but it’s at least made some strides towards acceptance (certain other inflammatory comments from former CEO Mike Jeffries notwithstanding).