We’re building a new kind of unicorn — one that stands to make more money for women than men.
The Maiden and the Unicorn , Domenico Zampieri
The #Angels and Carta just published #TheGapTable report that showed that while women make up 33% of the founder and employee workforce, they hold only 9% of the equity value in those companies. Men own 91%. They called on CEOs and founders to power a movement: Hire women from day one. Raise money from female investors. Measure, disclose and fix your cap table.
We did all 3 and are here to tell you it isn’t very hard.
Real talk for a moment. Winnie is growing fast and poised to become the dominant parenting platform in a huge and lucrative market. We fully expect it to make a lot of people very rich. It was a priority for us from day one to make sure women get a large share of that wealth. Therefore, we’re proud to publish our cap table and share that women hold over 70% of Winnie’s equity. We are woman-founded and woman-led with woman funders who participated in every round including Reach Capital, BBG Ventures, Rethink Impact, Day One Ventures, and prominent female angel investors like the #Angels, Ellen Pao, Susan Wu, and Sarah Smith.
So how did we do it? Here are the 3 things we think made a huge impact on making our cap table majority female.
Bias-free hiring process
No process is perfect, but some small changes can help you consider a much more diverse pool of candidates. First, we don’t just recruit from our networks. We list every job online and every candidate goes through the same process, even if we know them. In a recent round of engineering hires we made, we saw candidates that were 54% female, 33% from underrepresented groups, and 62% from nontraditional backgrounds like bootcamps. This enables us to have an engineering and product team that is 50% women and a leadership team that is 75% women.
Company culture of balance
In order for female employees of your company to share in the wealth that your company’s equity creates, they need to vest that equity by continuing to work at your company over time. We’ve seen that many tech companies make it difficult for women to work there after they become parents. At Winnie, we don’t just pay lip service to building a family-friendly culture; we live it. My co-founder and I are both moms of young kids so we take work life balance seriously. We don’t work late nights or weekends and don’t expect our employees to. This helps us retain employees who value flexibility and time with their family.
We always remember that we decide who we partner with
When we raised our latest round of funding, we didn’t just look for the best term sheet. We looked for investors with whom we were mission-aligned. We want to be proud of the partners that will share in Winnie’s success and we want that wealth to go to investors who share our vision of making parents’ lives easier.
Thank you to the #Angels for bringing attention to this important piece of the gender gap in compensation. We hope more companies follow in the footsteps of Winnie and Carta and publish their cap tables to bring transparency to how startup wealth is distributed.
Questions or comments for us? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org!