But it has some gender issues: Barely a quarter of the start-ups it funds include even one female founder. This isn't a problem unique to Y Combinator — throughout the tech industry, women are underrepresented due to a variety of factors, especially in more technical roles. And at least Y Combinator knows this is a problem and is trying to fix it — the accelerator even hosted its first "Female Founders Conference" last weekend.
In a blog post wrapping up the conference, Y Combinator posted this chart illustrating the progress they've made in drawing women into their bootcamp-like process during the past nine years.
The chart shows the percentage of start-ups with at least one female co-founder in their program. At first glance, it might suggest that they are pretty close to gender parity — until you notice that the Y axis scale only goes up to 30 percent.
Twitter user Shanley noticed that issue — and superimposed Bureau of Labor statistics data on women in computer and mathematical occupations that suggests that Y Combinator's gains in the area still leave women underrepresented in terms of founders supported by the accelerator even based on their proportion of the industry.
Another Twitter user, Kevin Marks, agreed there was a clearer way to display the gender (im)balance at Y Combinator. So he made a chart comparing the percentage of start-ups with at least one female founder to those with at least one male founder. It's a very different chart.
From this view, it's actually clear that Y Combinator funds three times as many start-ups featuring exclusively male founders as it does start-ups with at least one female founder. In his research for the chart, Marks could only find two start-ups with exclusively female founders.