Sheryl Sandberg - one of the 50 "Most Powerful Women in Business" according to Fortune Magazine



Gender Gap in Leadership of Unicorn Startups and Fortune 500 Companies 

Explore Interactive Data on Women's Leadership in U.S. Most Powerful and Emerging Companies



Only 4 of the most powerful U.S. startups have a female CEO. More than half of them have no women at all on their boards. And none of them have more than one. Of Fortune 500 companies, 5% of the CEOs are female.

Unicorn is a term used to describe startup companies whose evaluation has exceeded $1B. Fortune maintains a list of 81 of these companies, 56 of which located in the US. These startups are private, and so don't have to disclose workforce equality data like public firms. (Read our "Women in Techproject). 

Does this lack of accountability impact gender equality in the world of startups? Do private unicorns do better or worse than public companies, for gender equality? In this resource, we compare the 56 most powerful U.S. startups with Fortune's 500 companies. 

Only 7% of U.S. Top Unicorns Have a Female CEO

Out of the 56 U.S. unicorns, only 4 have a female CEO. A depressing fact, yet this is slightly better than Fortune 500 companies. In these, there are only 25 women CEOs (5%).

US Unicorns and Whether They Have a Female CEO
Female CEO?
Count
No79
Yes4

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Fortune 500 Companies, grouped by Gender of CEO

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Unicorns with a Female CEO



Fortune 500 Companies with a Female CEO

Click on the headings to sort ascending/descending on a variable. Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filtersClick on each company for more details.



Almost Two-Thirds of Unicorns Have No Women Board Member...

Almost 60% of the 56 U.S. top unicorn companies don't have a lady among their board members. 

Women Board Members in 56 U.S. Unicorn Startups

Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filters. Note: Gender data refers only for the 56 U.S. unicorns



... And None Has More than One.

All of the remaining 43% of unicorns with a women board members have at most one. Dropbox and SpaceX are two of these relatively female-friendly companies. The two are actually decacorns (valued at $10 B or more). Theranos is the highest valued unicorn to have both one women board member and a female CEO. 

Most Valued Unicorns, Filtered for Those with One Women Board Member 

Click on the headings to sort ascending/descending on a variable. Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filtersClick on each company for more details.  Note: Gender data refers only for the 56 U.S. unicorns



Boards of Fortune 500 companies are more diverse. 60% of U.S. unicorns had an all-male board. And this percentage is "only" 5% for Fortune 500 firms. Although the numbers are likely affected by size as well. Fortune 500 corporations are giants, likely with much larger boards than a private startup.



Fortune 500 Companies with No Female Board Directors

Click on the headings to sort ascending/descending on a variable. Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filtersClick on each company for more details.



Top 3 Most Valued U.S. Startups Have an All-Male Leadership

Uber, Palantir, and Airbnb have at least two things in common. They're the highest valued U.S. startups. And they all have no women CEOs or board members.

Valuation of Unicorns

Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filtersClick on each company for more details.  Note: Gender data refers only for the 56 U.S. unicorns



Explore More Unicorn and Fortune 500 Data with Silk

For this project, we've imported in Silk the CrunchBase data on top global unicorns and Fortune 500 firms. So now you can query the information, explore patterns, and visualize data interactively. And, of course, share it all in a few clicks on social media, or embed the (responsive) graphs online. 

How to Use This Silk: Click "Explore" anywhere on the site to go into visualization and filtering mode. Search for individual pages or entities in the top search box.

An example? World's top unicorns mapped by their headquarters.

World's most valued unicorns

Select values from the filters to customize the visualization. Reset them to see the overall statistics. Click "Explore" to transform this into another type of chart, change the variables plotted, add dynamic filtersClick on each company for more details.  Note: Gender data refers only for the 56 U.S. unicorns



Made with Silk

Silk is a place to explore the world through data. Silk displays data as beautiful interactive charts, maps and web pages. Create your own free Silk now.

The Silk team built this as a demonstration project. You can contact us at feedback@silk.co.