Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s most popular business accelerator program for startups, released data to show it’s not discriminating against women, Hispanic and black founders when choosing what to fund.
It sampled 5 percent of its Winter 2015 applicants to find out their gender and ethnicity. It then compared the demographic statistics to the percentage of companies it funds.
YC found that it funds a comparable percentage of diverse companies to the applications it receives. The numbers aren’t 100 percent bulletproof, of course, since YC didn’t disclose how it drew its random 5 percent sample to represent its application demographics.
However, the accelerator should be commended for making the effort to check its funding tendencies at all and share the data publicly. Almost all of Silicon Valley’s big tech companies have diversity problems, which we compared using visualizations in August.
Here’s the numbers from YC’s blog:
11.8% of the founders who applied were women and around 3% percent of the founders were either Black or Hispanic.
Of the founders we funded in our most recent batch, 11.1% of the founders are women (about 23% of the startups have one or more female founders), 3.7% of the founders are Hispanic, and 4% of the founders are Black.
The accelerator acknowledged that although it doesn’t appear to discriminate in its funding choices, it’s problematic that so few female, black and hispanic founders apply to YC. “We will continue and strengthen our outreach efforts,” YC partner Michael Seibel said in the post.