Global Women Who Tech survey shows women in tech, investors, and founders face the same, if not more, inequalities since 2017
Washington, D.C. (December 12, 2023) — The 2023 State of Women in Tech & Startups Survey conducted by Women Who Tech, is a glaring reminder of gender-based discrimination despite calls for action and promises of change from the biggest tech companies, VC funds, investors, and government. The nonprofit, which aims to build a culture and inclusive economy to accelerate women tech entrepreneurs, surveyed over 930 respondents to determine sentiments on the tech industry based on first-hand experiences. The organization is imploring tech leaders and VC funds to address these systemic issues to create an equitable tech sector for people of all gender expressions.
Undeterred by outcries for inclusion, hiring of DEI teams, DEI trainings, and “opening a line of communication,” tech continues to be dominated by white men, leaving women and BIPOC talent pivoting their careers.
Women founders receive second-class treatment, specifically when raising funds. Only 35% of women in tech believe there are equal opportunities for underrepresented teams.
- 70% of founders have been treated differently while raising funding for their startup because of their gender
- 65% of founders have been told that they would be more likely to get funded if they were a man or had a cofounder who was a man
- 49% of women say they’ve experienced discrimination in the workplace
- 82% gender discrimination
- 49% age discrimination
“We’re all familiar with the lightning speed at which the tech industry moves; but the narrative for women remains stagnant, and it stifles innovation when we don’t have diverse perspectives leading tech,” says Allyson Kapin, Founder of Women Who Tech. “Women continue to report instances of harassment, specifically within the confines of a male-dominated workforce, where gender disparity extends its reach even further. If we expect change, we must continue this forceful reckoning and dismantle oppressive systems.”
Women continue to be discriminated against (and that number has increased annually)
- In 2017, 70% of women reported they experienced offensive jokes—today, that number sits at 78%, an 8% increase since 2017
- 57% of women founders said they have been discriminated against in the last 12 months
- 51% of women founders of color say they have been discriminated against
- 62% of white women founders share they have experienced discrimination
- 47% of Black women founders and 51% of women founders of another color report the same
The media continues to tout progress, but the data shows otherwise.
- 40% of women founders say they have experienced harassment, just a meager 4% decrease since 2017
- 47% shared they experienced harassment six times or more
- 75% of women who were sexually harassed, reported experiencing unwanted physical contact
- 50% of women who were sexually harassed shared that they have been propositioned for sex in exchange for funding, etc.
A respondent known as “Jane Doe” details harassment she’s received from investors. Within her testimony, Doe revealed multiple investors had propositioned her for sex and romantic encounters. She turns the question back, asking these male investors why a date is needed when she’s already pitched their startup. This anecdote is another all-too-common symptom of an industry-wide problem and toxic culture that needs to be rooted out.
To see images and additional assets, please view the Media Kit here.
About Women Who Tech:
Founded in 2008, Women Who Tech draws global attention to significant gender bias in tech and venture capital by shaking up the culture and economy, making it exceedingly difficult for women to launch and scale startups. The nonprofit provides capital, mentoring, direct access to leading investors, for women building the most innovative tech companies, ultimately closing the funding gap for good.
For more information, visit womenwhotech.org.
The State of Women in Tech survey was conducted between January 22-February 26, 2023, via an anonymous online survey. 69% of respondents identified as women, and 30% were men working in tech or were startup founders. 81 investors were surveyed. Differentials from 2020 are indicated by parentheses with +/- to show changes in responses over time.