On November 4th at Fort Mason in San Francisco, hundreds of people came together for the first-ever Table Stakes event to discuss the launch of the Table Stakes initiative and release of Carta’s second annual gender equity gap report. We took a closer look at the numbers and data and hosted discussions with founders and investors on how to make real, lasting change to close the gender equity gap.
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Table Stakes is about making equity fairer and turning the tables for women in business. Sara Mauskopf, CEO and co-founder of Winnie, summed it up: “Once you get women early on in the cap table, they unlock a lot of networks of other women.”
Carta CEO Henry Ward kicked off the night by explaining how Table Stakes helps Carta achieve its mission of creating more owners and a fairer world. #ANGELS Chloe Sladden, Jessica Verrilli, April Underwood, and Jana Messerschmidt, the originators of the idea of a gender equity gap study, followed by sharing what first initially sparked the idea of quantifying the gender equity gap and how Carta answered the call for data.
A year ago we @HashtagAngels published #TheGapTable study with @cartainc, revealing women hold just 9% of the equity in startups.— Jessica Verrilli (@jess) November 5, 2019
Tonight we’re joining Carta for an update on the numbers and a discussion of the work to be done. pic.twitter.com/bSdvLyJ8Ik
Next, Emily Kramer, VP of Marketing at Carta and author of the Table Stakes study, presented on the data and numbers behind this year’s study.
After analyzing data from 350,000 founders and employees and approximately 10 billion dollars in equity, some shocking statistics were found, including:
- 34% of women hold just 20% of the equity value—meaning there’s a gap of 49 cents on the dollar.
- 13% of women are founders, and they hold just 7% of equity.
- 20% of equity owners hold 96% of the equity value—and only a small percentage of those owners are women.
Emily also broke down the steps that can be done to start closing the gap, which included learning about equity, negotiating, and hiring and investing in women and underrepresented minorities. At Carta, we believe one of the most important things companies need to get right for employees is equity and liquidity. We explain it all in our Employee Shareholder Bill of Rights.
The evening’s first panel, moderated by Jenny Lefcourt, general partner at Freestyle Capital, included:
- Esther Crawford, co-founder and CEO of Squad
- Tracy Sun, co-founder and senior vice president of new markets at Poshmark
- Sara Mauskopf, co-founder and CEO of Winnie
They discussed committing to diversity, the challenges of raising capital, maintaining ownership, and running a company, and advice for other female founders.
“Startups don’t usually allow women to focus on their families. At @Winnie, we’ve built a different kind of startup that values flexibility” — @sm at the #TableStakes event. pic.twitter.com/OTr3m5WL61— Table Stakes (@tablestakes) November 5, 2019
Advice from our #tablestakes founder panel:— Table Stakes (@tablestakes) November 5, 2019
• Listen a lot 👂
• Be authentic. 🌅
• Take VC meetings with intellectual curiosity. 📚
• Take up space. This is your company. 🙌
Jenny left the audience with this: “The future is in this room. There are a lot of people who want the world to look different. Bring it.”
“If we’re not also taking a stance and trying to change the system in which these women have to work, the equation won’t work,” said Kate Brodock, CEO and co-founder of Women 2.0, to kick off the investor panel.
Brodock, who moderated the panel, was joined by:
- Sarah Kunst, managing director at Cleo
- Christie Pitts, general partner at Backstage Capital
- Jen Neundorfer, managing partner at Jane VC
- Naomi Ionita, partner at Menlo Ventures
They discussed topics ranging from empowering women and underrepresented minorities as investors to their experiences working in the male-dominated industry of venture capital.
Advice for underrepresented people who want to work in VC from the #tablestakes investor panel:— Table Stakes (@tablestakes) November 5, 2019
• First understand: if you had money, what kind of company would you be interested investing in? 🤔
• Have a founder vouch for you. 🤝
• Be creative in what you can offer. 📊
DISCLOSURE: This communication is on behalf of eShares Inc., d/b/a Carta, Inc. (“Carta”). This communication is not to be construed as legal, financial or tax advice and is for informational purposes only. This communication is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Carta does not assume any liability for reliance on the information provided herein