60% increase in teams with female founders at Sting

The proportion of accepted teams with female founders has risen from 26 percent in 2017 to 42 percent in 2018, when Sting summarizes the past year. The proportion of recruitments that have resulted in a woman being recruited into Sting companies is close to 40 percent, and 38 percent of Propel Capital’s investments have been made in companies with female founders.

In 2018, Sting, the Nordic region’s leading ecosystem for startups with high growth potential, launched an initiative to increase the proportion of startups with female entrepreneurs who are admitted to the Sting program.

– We have worked consistently during the year to reach out to female entrepreneurs and make our offer visible. It feels great that we now see results from this work. The goal in 2020 is that at least 50 percent of the companies that are accepted to Sting should have at least one female founder in the team, so we will continue to focus on this important issue, says Karin Ruiz, coach at Sting.

During the year, Sting also worked actively with its own recruitment service to help more women be recruited to Sting companies. And the work has borne fruit. Forty percent of the more than 40 recruits that were carried out in 2018 have resulted in a woman being recruited. Given that many of the recruitments have a focus on tech (programmers, development engineers etc), where the lack of women today is large, the recruitment team is extra pleased with the result.

– It has been useful for us to think through how we work and which networks we reach out to. We can see that an increased awareness of how job advertisements are formulated, special efforts to reach out to relevant networks, and concrete goals for an even gender balance in the number of candidates have contributed to increasing the proportion of women recruited into the Sting companies using our service, says Andreas Wennberg, talent manager at Sting.

Another area of ​​debate on gender equality is financing. According to a report from Atomico in December 2018, only 7 percent of invested capital in Europe went to startup companies with female or mixed founders. When Sting’s investment company Propel Capital, which is Sweden’s most active private seed investor, summarizes its investments (26) in 2018, it can be concluded that 38 percent of these were made in companies with female or mixed founders, i.e. significantly above average.

Obviously, the increasing proportion of adopted startups with female entrepreneurs in the Sting companies has generally contributed to Propel Capital’s positive figures, but here, too, concrete steps have been taken to achieve set goals. To ensure an even distribution of gender in the selection committee for Sting’s programs and increase the proportion of female business angels in Propel Capital have probably contributed positively to the result.

– Sting has an important role to play in the work of reaching out to and creating an attractive offer for female company builders. We have a very long-term ambition in this, and we share it with all the fantastic founders of the Sting companies, which serve as role models for those who are about to start a new company, concludes Karin Ruiz.