International Women’s Day 2021: Female Health Founders Take Up Space

In light of this year’s International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, Qunomedical is putting a spotlight on female founders in the health tech space amidst the backdrop of dire statistics that do not provide the best environment for success.

To understand where the situation stands for female founders in the health tech sector, we analysed Crunchbase data of seed and venture round start-ups. Results show:

  • There are over 2000 active health tech start-ups with at least one female founder.
  • In the last 10 years, there has been over a 500% increase in female-founded health tech start-ups raising an initial funding round.
  • Health tech start-ups are 3 times more likely to be founded by men.
  • Health tech startups with at least one female founder make nearly $100 billion less in total funding than those founded by men.

A 2017 survey of over 300 women in healthcare shows that nearly half (45.4%) of respondents believe it will take 25 or more years until we achieve gender parity in the workplace. Only 7.5% say it will happen in the next five years, followed by a staggering 16.1% who say we will never achieve gender parity. These numbers do not come as a surprise as further research shows that women face negative attitudes during pitches. Investors ask women more about risk and losses, while men are asked about ambitions and achievements.

Across the board, female-only founders received a mere 3% of invested dollars in 2010. However, in 2019, almost 10 years later, Pitchbook reported that VC investments in all-female founded companies hit a record high at $3.3 billion. These amounts, while increasing, were not close to parity with male-only founded companies which raised $31 billion in 2010 and $195 billion in 2019. 

Qunomedical analysed data from the business information resource Crunchbase to identify the top female founder in every country in the world within the health tech sector, visualised by a set of maps. 

As a female founder navigating the health tech space, CEO of Qunomedical, Dr. Sophie Chung comments, “As Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, puts it ‘No industry or country can reach its full potential until women reach their full potential.’ I see the need for more female role models to be championed in this space to help break the cycle of male dominance in the health tech sector. By building stronger networking and mentoring opportunities for women within the community, we take ownership of taking a part in shaping the future – empowering the next generation of women in health tech.

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