Venture-backed companies with female execs more successful, study says

The presence of female executives in a start-up could influence its financial success, according to a new study.


WASHINGTON,DC : MAY 25. Founders of Pop Vox,, (R) Marci Harris, CEO,Rachna Choudry Chief Marketing Officer and Joshua Tauberer, Chief Technology Officer, talking on Capital Hill in Washington,DC. on May 25, 2011. (Jeffrey MacMillan/FOR WASHINGTON POST)

The study considered a company to be successful if it had gone public or registered for an initial public offering, was privately held and profitable, or had been acquired for more than the venture investment.

In certain industries, the number of female executives could have a more significant influence on success. For example, the median number of female executives at successful companies in the health, information technology, business and financial services, and consumer industries was significantly higher than that at unsuccessful companies in those sectors.

In addition, companies with an IPO were more likely to have at least one female executive, the study showed— at least 75 percent of companies that went public since 2003 had at least one female executive. Between 60 and 70 percent of companies participating in a merger or acquisition, often a payoff point for entrepreneurs, had at least one female executive.

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Mohana Ravindranath covers IT and small business for the Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication.
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