How women are bridging the gender gap in the startup ecosystem

How women are bridging the gender gap in the startup ecosystem

By: Lakshmi Prabhala, Co-Founder, LMO

Women in India have been contributing to the country’s growth and development for many years. With the country moving forward at a rapid pace and a vision of creating a robust network of startups, women are taking leadership roles and breaking the societal norms to come out as successful leaders in the startup ecosystem. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, it'll take many more years to achieve gender equality keeping in mind the current rate of progress of women in the startup ecosystem as a whole. This analysis has been significant in pushing decision-makers, stakeholders across sectors, and access points to work towards bridging this gap and working for womanly representation in boardrooms. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the past year gave women the right time to manage and take up leadership roles.  Women have also assumed leadership of huge and influential companies. Their mindfulness has led to a rapid-fire rise in gender equivalency and has witnessed women-led startups thrive and soar. It's proven that diversity in leadership favourably impacts growth.

Here are some key areas that have proven that women can bridge the gender gap in the startup ecosystem.

High Emotional Intelligence

It has been proven time and again that leaders with high emotional intelligence are more effective in managing organisations. They lead with a transformational leadership style and have humane nature which nurtures a positive working environment in and women entrepreneurs have been observed leading with it, which unequivocally impacts the overall growth and evolution of startups.

Dynamic and adaptable

Startups work in a dynamic atmosphere and flexibility is a critical virtue for a leader. It is observed that startups led by women are bouncy and quick to adapt. They believe in the approach of analyzing a problem and coming back with an answer thereon. Women are also better at multitasking than men which helps them give attention to multiple fronts of a business rather than one.

Better retention rate

Female leaders are more likely to command a high degree of knowledge. They tend to understand the broader side of the target demands that lead to a better retention rate in startups.



Women bring in the necessary discipline to bring into the startup culture that gives the right push to the day to day work culture. They help in accentuating the existing mindset of the workforce, thus helping in better performance of the team as a whole.


Women are known to be great at multitasking. They wear multiple hats to ensure each department’s work is going in line with the startup’s goal. Be it marketing or manufacturing or even mechanical and electrical, women ensure the smooth functioning of all departments simultaneously.

Inclusive policies

Having policies that help women progress in their career, with up-skilling and “ return-to-career” schemes, flexible- work, special leave, and so on will help in giving women an inclusive environment at the workplace. Influencing the policymakers to have gender-equal rules and regulations will help in embracing women inclusivity in startups.

To conclude, a concerted effort across key sectors with a cultural focus on gender sensitivity instead of gender neutrality can help. Every organisation should establish and track pre-decided common metrics to have as little gender gap as possible as women are nothing less even in a patriarchal society.