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Female Hires and the Success of Start-up Firms


  • Weber, Andrea

    () (Central European University)

  • Zulehner, Christine

    () (University of Vienna)


In this paper we investigate the relationship between females among the first hires of start-up companies and business success. Our results show that firms with female first hires have a higher share of female workers at the end of the first year after entry. Further, we find that firms with female first hires are more successful and stay longer in the market. We conclude that our results support the hypothesis that gender-diversity in leading positions is an advantage for start-up firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Weber, Andrea & Zulehner, Christine, 2009. "Female Hires and the Success of Start-up Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 4568, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4568

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nina Smith & Valdemar Smith & Mette Verner, 2005. "Do Women in Top Management Affect Firm Performance? A Panel Study of 2500 Danish Firms," CIE Discussion Papers 2005-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
    2. Thomas Hellmann & Manju Puri, 2002. "Venture Capital and the Professionalization of Start-Up Firms: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 169-197, February.
    3. Josef Zweim�ller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon B�chi, 2009. "Austrian social security database," IEW - Working Papers 410, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
      • Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian Social Security Database," NRN working papers 2009-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. Adams, Renée B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2009. "Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 291-309, November.
    5. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Diagnosing Discrimination: Stock Returns and CEO Gender," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 531-541, 04-05.
    6. Benedetto, Gary & Haltiwanger, John & Lane, Julia & McKinney, Kevin, 2007. "Using Worker Flows to Measure Firm Dynamics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 299-313, July.
    7. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Buchwald, Achim & Hottenrott, Hanna, 2015. "Women on the board and executive duration: Evidence for European listed firms," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-016, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Fackler, Daniel, 2014. "Establishment survival in East and West Germany: A comparative analysis," Discussion Papers 90, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    3. Daniel Fackler & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2013. "Establishment exits in Germany: the role of size and age," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 683-700, October.
    4. Faccio, Mara & Marchica, Maria-Teresa & Mura, Roberto, 2016. "CEO gender, corporate risk-taking, and the efficiency of capital allocation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 193-209.
    5. Blasco, Sylvie & Pertold-Gebicka, Barbara, 2013. "Employment policies, hiring practices and firm performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 12-24.
    6. Balafoutas, Loukas & Sutter, Matthias, 2010. "Gender, Competition and the Efficiency of Policy Interventions," IZA Discussion Papers 4955, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Muriel Niederle & Carmit Segal & Lise Vesterlund, 2013. "How Costly Is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, May.
    8. Beaurain, Guillaume & Masclet, David, 2016. "Does affirmative action reduce gender discrimination and enhance efficiency? New experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 350-362.
    9. Mario Lackner & Christine Zulehner, 2013. "Rent Sharing and Gender Discrimination in Collegiate Athletics," Economics working papers 2013-09, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    10. Lalanne, Marie & Seabright, Paul, 2016. "The old boy network: The impact of professional networks on remuneration in top executive jobs," SAFE Working Paper Series 123, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    11. repec:eee:finlet:v:22:y:2017:i:c:p:129-135 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Borghesi, Richard & Houston, Joel F. & Naranjo, Andy, 2014. "Corporate socially responsible investments: CEO altruism, reputation, and shareholder interests," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 164-181.
    13. Gee, Laura Katherine, 2016. "The More You Know: Information Effects on Job Application Rates in a Large Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 10372, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    firm survival; profitability; female employment; discrimination; market test; matched employer-employee data;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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