Startups Hold the Key to 2.1 Million Jobs for Women

By Sunil Sonkar
2 Min Read
Startups Hold the Key to 2.1 Million Jobs for Women

Startups are emerging as a driving force for gender equality in the workplace. At least it is being revealed in the ‘Women in India’s Startup Ecosystem Report 2023’ by ACT for Women. The report shows women make up 35% of startup workforces, in stark contrast to the 19% in traditional corporations. The report suggests striving to make women 50% of startup teams by 2030, which could lead to 2.1 million new jobs for women in seven years.


The report highlights the success of women-led startups in promoting gender equity. Their numbers are growing from 10% to 18% in the Indian startup ecosystem. Legacy corporates have only 5% women in founder/CEO positions. The report reveals a significant increase in the number of unicorns, rising from 13 to 105. Also, there was a big jump in investment funding, going from $5.9 billion to $21.9 billion between 2017 and 2022, and funding for startups led by women increased from 11% to 18%. The report surveyed about 200 startups including well-known companies like Swiggy, Zomato, Zenoti, Meesho and Urban Company.

Several unique characteristics of startups contribute to better participation, retention and growth of women in these organizations. First, it takes only half the time to ascend to leadership roles in startups compared to traditional corporations. Second, twice as many employees in startups report a greater sense of autonomy compared to their counterparts in larger companies. Moreover, startups have fewer obstacles for women to take on important positions outside of traditional roles like HR, administration, customer service and marketing. The report reveals that 21 percent of the startups surveyed had women in Research and Development (R&D) roles. 34 percent was in finance roles, 25 percent was in sales positions and 20 percent in tech development.

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