The future is underrepresented groups: A look back at Table Stakes 2019

The future is underrepresented groups: A look back at Table Stakes 2019

Author: Liz Huang
Read time:  4 minutes
Published date:  November 16, 2019
On 11/4, hundreds came together for the first-ever Table Stakes event to discuss Carta's second annual gender equity gap report. Here's what happened.

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. 

Fair equity is table stakes: 2019 gender equity gap study | Carta

Download the Table Stakes deck

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.Tonight we’re joining Carta for an update on the numbers and a discussion of the work to be done.

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: 

“Women aren’t in the right roles at the right times to get outsized equity.” @emilykramer from @cartainc on the results of the @tablestakes study. #TableStakes

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.

INT. FORT MASON – NIGHT @sm: “It’s been hard to hire men. We had to work at it.” @jennylefcourt: “And you were able to do that without lowering your bar?”😂🤣😂🤣 #tablestakes

Advice from our #tablestakes founder panel:• 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.” 

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. 

How do you get diverse deal flow?“We have an open application process for deal flow.”— @imchristiepitts of @Backstage_Cap at the #tablestakes investor panel

Advice for underrepresented people who want to work in VC from the #tablestakes investor panel:• 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. 📊

Read the full Table Stakes study, and if you missed the event and are interested in becoming a partner, please reach out to us at

Video from the event will be available soon. Follow @tablestakes on Twitter or @table_stakes on Instagram to stay in the loop on the latest in fair equity.

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

Author: Liz Huang
Liz is a Content Marketing Manager at Carta.