Twenty-one companies with a female founder or co-founder hit $1 billion or more in valuation so far this year, according to the report. The previous record had been set last year, when 15 companies hit the billion-dollar mark.
A “unicorn” in this case is a privately held startup valued at more than $1 billion, not a magical horned horse. Crunchbase counted companies with at least one female founder by the year when they first passed a $1 billion valuation.
One of this year’s unicorns was ezCater, according to the report. The company hooks up caterers with customers. Co-founder and CEO Stefania Mallett, who previously sold another company she co-founded, told FOX Business in 2014 that the business had broken even and was growing.
“It’s all about execution and how fast and how well can we execute,” she said then. “We have a superb reputation with customers and caterers.”
Another fresh unicorn, the Australia-based Airwallex, offers a cross-border payment platform. Co-founder Lucy Liu is a former China International Capital Corp. investment consultant who oversees business operations and client relationships for the company.
Women have been accounting for a larger share of workers in management and related occupations — 52 percent as of 2017, compared to 47 percent of the overall workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But only 28 percent of chief executives are women, and female chief executives earned just 79.5 percent of what male chief executives made.