Hiring & Recruiting, HR Management, Strategic HR

Competitions Underscore Value of Having Women in High-Level Business Roles

A new report on college venture competitions has found that teams including women in roles such as founder and CEO were more likely to win prize money than those who did not include women in these high-level roles.

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While the report found that less than 18% of the participants in these state university venture competitions were women, teams including women “overwhelmingly win those competitions” according to Girls with Impact, an entrepreneurship program for girls.

The Girls with Impact report, The Entrepreneurship Talent Gap, found that 9 out of the 17 first-, second- or third-place winning teams had at least one woman founder on the team;  2 out of the 5 first place teams had women CEOs, and 3 out of the 5 first place teams had women founders.

Meanwhile, women co-founded teams captured at least $90,000 of the $160,000 of available prize money—again, this with women representing only 17.8% of the 900 students participating on 328 teams, according to the report.

“Just a fraction of women participate in venture competitions, but they’re rising to the top,”  Jennifer Openshaw, CEO of Girls with Impact, said in a press release announcing the report. “This has huge implications for venture capitalists, policy leaders, educators and businesses.”

“The bottom line: it pays to have women on your team,” noted professor David Noble, executive director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Consortium at the University of Connecticut and co-author of the report.  “Too many biases exist with the assumption that women aren’t as good as men. This is another nail in the gender bias coffin.”

To learn more about the report and its implications, visit GirlsWithImpact.com.