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Stitch Fix’s Katrina Lake is the only woman to lead a tech IPO this year

Fewer than 8 percent of all U.S. IPOs this year were led by women.

Stitch Fix founder and CEO Katrina Lake being interviewed onstage at Recode’s 2017 Las Vegas Code Commerce event.
Stitch Fix founder and CEO Katrina Lake
Recode/Becca Farsace

In 2017, a woman-led IPO is still rare. In tech, it’s nearly nonexistent.

That makes Katrina Lake — the founder and CEO taking Stitch Fix public today — especially notable. Stitch Fix is an online retailer that provides personalized styling services.

Fewer than 8 percent of all U.S. public market debuts so far this year were led by women, up from about 7 percent last year, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. As low as that is, it’s still markedly higher than most previous years.

Stitch Fix is so far the only tech IPO led by a woman this year. The other 11 IPOs led by women in 2017 are predominantly pharmaceutical companies.

The last tech IPO piloted by a woman was BlackLine in 2016, an enterprise software company founded and helmed by Therese Tucker.

From 2000 to 2015, an average of only 4.2 percent of U.S. IPOs were led by women, according to data from sociologist Martin Kenney and economist Donald Patton at the University of California, Davis.

Just 6.4 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are women. Gender inequality is particularly acute in tech, which suffers from a lack of female representation up the supply chain.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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