Why tech startups are seldom led by female founders 

Fewer than 2 percent of U.S software startups have at least one female founder. This may be due to male-dominated culture and lack of female investors, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 8. 

A new report produced by venture capital firm Work Bench calculated the percentage using data from 18,500 venture capital-backed business-to-business software startups. The 2 percent represents 354 enterprise software startups.

According to the Journal, some experts say that Implicit biases and discrepancies in networking connections are some of the reasons for the gender gap. Only 15 percent of venture capital general partners are women, so female founders are already pitching to male-dominated venture capital firms. This makes it harder for female entrepreneurs to get off the ground.

"It has to do with these misperceptions that female founding CEOs are a ‘lack of fit’ with their ventures when they happen to cater to male-dominated, as opposed to female-dominated industries," said Dana Kanze, PhD, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School. 

Female founders described feeling that they lacked the instant rapport or fit that male founders had with their investors and peer startup founders and described a culture which was only accessible to men. 

"VCs want to work with people that they have great chemistry with, and sometimes that’s a euphemism for investing in people who are like you," said April Koh, co-founder and CEO of mental health startup Spring Health.

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