Dow Jones study released today measures success of companies with more women in executive positions.
By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

A study released today, “Women At The Wheel: Do Female Executives Drive Start-Up Success?”, examined over 20,000 VC-backed companies and 167,556 executives, of which 11,193 were female. Results show that venture-backed startups with women in senior executive roles are more likely succeed than companies where only men are in senior executive roles.

The study found that the overall median proportion of female executives is 7.1% at successful companies and 3.1% at unsuccessful companies, demonstrating the value that having more females can potentially bring to a management team.

Success is measured by an exit through initial public offering (IPO), IPO registration, privately-held and consistently profitable or acquisition for an amount greater than its total venture capital amount raised.

The study concludes “a company’s odds of success increase with female executives at the VP and director levels.” There is some variance due to industry:


Women’s roles in successful startups have been primarily in sales and marketing:


With time, more women will be involved in technical leadership positions at successful, exited startups. Recent acquisitions of Chomp (by Apple) and Meebo (by Google) have had female Chief Technology Officers – Cathy Edwards and Sandy Jen, respectively. The two were also co-founders of their exited companies.

We invent the future. Let’s make more women-led venture-backed companies that are successful!

Check out the full study at Dow Jones.

Women 2.0 members: How have women executives influenced the success of companies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the writer: Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.