"The ongoing and insidious discrimination in the ecosystem can make the female founder experience downright humiliating".
Words from Odun Eweniyi; co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of PiggyVest, a Nigerian investment and savings platform, co-founder First Check Africa, a female-focused pre-seed fund co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Backdrop, a photo-sharing app. Woman.
The publicly available funding data tells a story we all know deep in our hearts—the tech ecosystem, like many other modern industries, faces an inherent gender problem. We know this because some of us have heard the story of the aspiring female founder asked to 'bring in a male co-founder' if she wants to fundraise.
Female founders are often cut out of accessing financial capital. Roughly 1,100 startups raised $1.7 billion in early-stage financing between January 2013 and May 2021. But, for every $1 that went to all-female founding teams, all-male teams received $25.
According to a Briter Bridges report, female founders receive disproportionately less funding than their male counterparts, even in sectors where they dominate. For example, all-female founders teams of the businesses surveyed received less than 10% of total funds raised in edtech, compared to almost 75% received by male founder teams.
Limited participation of women is only part of the gender diversity problem in tech. In 2020, women made up 16% of founders across the firms for which data was available. But the solution is not about increasing the number of female founders. As we see, even after getting women into the tech pipeline, their ability to advance through is capped.
This problem limits the