Gender Data

What gender data is available? How do The Data City estimate the founders of companies? What do I need to know to use this data?

What is available and how are founders identified?

The Data City's platform has the ability to analyse the leaders and founders of a company.

Leaders are active directors (officers) listed on companies house. A women led business is a business where there are more active women directors than men directors.

Founders are officers that are appointed as a director within two years of a company being incorporated. Founders are also a person of significant control and they are still an active director at the company.


A person of significant control is defined by Government. In short it means a person likely has voting rights, shares, or a controlling influence in a company.

Companies are required to declare persons of significant control. It is possible to have information protected, however.


How to use this data?

A company can be only founded by women or men, or it can have mixed founders.

  • A women only founded company is one where all of the identified founders have female gendered titles.
  • A women (mixed) founded company is one where there is at least one women founder.

In some instances we are not able to identify founders, or identify the genders of founders.

Firstly, we rely on persons of significant control from Companies House. Persons of significant control is legislation that was introduced in 2015 and our ability to identify founders before then is reduced. In addition, sometimes the true founders of a company are not listed as persons of significant control, because of their initial level of equity in a company not meeting the threshold for significant control. Lastly, we are not able to identify the gender of a founder (or leader) where they have used a unisex title. 

In both leader and founder data, gender is based on the declared titles of officers on Companies House. Data City does not use machine learning to estimate the gender.

You should be careful when using this data to compare summary statistics between men and women founded businesses. We recommend the following:

  1. Focus on analysing RTICs for now. RTICs have a higher level of quality assurance.
  2. Compare similar sized businesses. Combine your analysis with the growth stage filter, for example, comparing 'micro' men and women founded businesses.

Where is the data?


In ANALYSE, you can find gender data in the analysis summary box, as well as in the company details panel.

In the company details panel, you will see gender data presented like below.

This communicates the number of men, women, and mixed founded companies. It also communicates the number of companies where we identify likely founders, but we are not able to identify their gender. 

Why are there no known founders?

We are able to identify founders in the vast majority of cases, but for older companies this is more and more tricky. This visualisation shows the number of companies where we are not able to identify founders: 5100. For more information on the coverage of this metric read the launch article.


In EXPLORE, you can find gender data in the people tab of each company page. Data is displayed under the women led statistics header.


In ANALYSE and EXPLORE you can filter to include only women or men founded, or mixed founded companies. You can also include only women led companies. These options are available under the company filter.


In November 2023 we wrote an article detailing definitions, coverage and drawbacks of this approach.