Bumble IPO makes CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd a billionaire

Bumble IPO makes CEO Whitney Wolfe worth over $1.5 billion.

Bumble IPO makes CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd a billionaire

The Bumble founder joined the rarified group of women who have taken their companies public.

  • Each year since the New York Stock Exchange was founded, in 1817, hundreds of companies have gone public. While thousands are currently publicly traded, only about 20 of those were founded and led by women.
  • There are many reasons women and minorities have been held back. Among them: Fewer than 13% of all VC decision-makers are women, and less than 3% of all VC dollars flow to companies led only by women.
  • To achieve gender equality, women need to found and join the next Fortune 500s to shape a diverse corporate culture from the beginning and accumulate generational wealth for themselves.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

2020 was a record year for initial public offerings in the US, with 442 logged as of December 14. Yet only a handful of those were companies founded and led by women, according to research by Business Insider and information provided by Nasdaq. 

Historically, only about 20 women seem to have founded and led a company through to an IPO, based on data from companies that are currently publicly traded.

There are a few more examples of companies that are no longer publicly traded that were founded and led by women at the time of IPO, including iVillage in 1999 and ASK in 1981. Some companies have also gone public with female CEOs who were not their founders, but that number is small compared to the majority (at this writing, only nine companies have fit that description this year). 

Read more: Meet the women who launched and led startups to an IPO, an accomplishment few female founders have ever reached >>

The jarring discrepancy was pointed out by Julie Wainwright, the founder of the luxury consignment shop The Real Real. In May 2019, Wainwright became the 15th woman to found and take a current publicly-traded company public.

To achieve gender equality, the fastest way forward is to close the entrepreneurial gap and support more women founding Fortune 500s. That's because women aren't reaching powerful positions often enough when they go the traditional corporate route.

Also, we need more women to try and become insanely rich.

Money equals power, and the only way to generate enough wealth to become one of the world's most powerful people is to start a company.