Pittsburgh Among Top U.S. City for Women-Led Startups in the U.S.

Posted by Suzie SampleMar 15, 20240 Comments

Women-led startups in the U.S. face a serious uphill battle. A recent Harvard Business Review article found that in 2020, women-led startups received just 2.3% of all VC funding awarded during that year. Not only is this figure bleak, it represents a decrease: in 2019, women-led startups received 2.8% of VC funding.

Women-Led Tech in Pittsburgh

While these numbers are bleak, another local study has found that Pittsburgh is a brighter place for women-led tech. According to findings published in the University of Pittsburgh Technology Review, the statistics for women in tech diverge from the national average-in a good way. Not only does our area have more women-led tech startups as compared to the national average, we also stand out in a variety of other ways, including:

  • Funding: while just 2.3% of all VC funding went to women-led startups in the US during 2020, 6.2% were awarded to women-led startups in the Greater Pittsburgh Region
  • Leadership Composition: while just 14% of C-level positions in tech startups in the US are held by women, 19% are held by women in the Greater Pittsburgh Region
  • Family Leave Policy: tech startups, on average, were awarded a score of 3.2/10 by the National Institute for Family Leave Equity, while tech startups in the Greater Pittsburgh Region were awarded a score of 5.4

We're glad to see our region is bucking some of these trends. However, we are committed to fostering diversity in tech and we know that we need to do better. That's why our firm participates in the Allegheny County GirlsCode! Program. We serve as mentors, and Sample Law is one of the three Keystone Donors of this event. We also offer no-cost workshops for women, LGBTQ+, and minority entrepreneurs. Each year, we sponsor one year of space in the Pittsburgh Downtown Incubator for a startup led by member(s) of under-represented groups. We want to see these numbers improve, not only for women, but for all under-represented groups. Diversity in tech leads to better products, better companies, and a better world.