Women Startup Employees Are Seeing a Huge Equity Gap
Photo Credit: Photo: #WOCinTech Chat

Women Startup Employees Are Seeing a Huge Equity Gap

America’s gender pay gap compensates women 80 cents to the dollar of their male counterparts — but for women working in startups, the equity gap is much worse.

According to a study released Monday by Carta, a California-based company that helps startups manage their cap table and valuations, women in tech are 35 percent of equity-holding employees, but hold only 20 percent of employee equity.

Carta analyzed nearly 180,000 startup employees at more than 6,000 companies and more than 15,000 founders.

It is common for startup employees to accept less pay in exchange for equity, in hopes that they will hit the jackpot when the company gains more success. Carta’s study showed that female equity-holding employees earn about 47 cents to the dollar of males equity-holding employees.

“Women are consistently undervalued,” said EnrichHer CEO and Founder Roshawnna Novellus. “We often expect even less [pay] because we want to be included in the story and that perpetuates why there is a disparity.”

Novellus said that women should ask employers if their pay is equitable to their team members and that this question is the first step to ensuring equal pay. EnrichHer is a Washington, D.C.-based company that connects women-founders with venture funding opportunities in an effort to bridge the pay gap between female and male-owned startups.

According to Carta, women make up 13 percent of founders, but only hold 6 percent of founder equity. These female founders own 39 cents for every dollar of equity male founders own.