Y Combinator, one of the most sought-after startup accelerators, recently released demographic figures that point to Silicon Valley’s diversity problem. Though the incubator aimed to increase diversity among its winter 2015 class, women, blacks, and Hispanics remain largely underrepresented compared with US population figures.
Women, for example, make up more than half the US, but only 23% of Y Combinator’s most recent batch of startups have at least one female founder, and only 11% of the founders overall are women.
The representation of racial minorities is even lower—4% of founders in the new class are black and 3.7% are Hispanic.
The numbers are line with the breakdown of Y Combinator’s applicant pool. In a random sample of 5% of applications to the winter class, 11.8% came from women, and 3% came from founders who identified as black or Hispanic.
“The good news is that there is no disadvantage to applying to YC as a female or minority founder,” partner Michael Seibel wrote in a blog post analyzing the stats. “The bad news, of course, is that applicant percentages are low relative to the entire population.”
To illustrate this contrast, the chart below compares data from Y Combinator’s accepted winter class with the US Census’ 2013 population estimate and data on minority-owned firms from 2007, the latest available.
The discrepancy is stark, but Y Combinator says it plans to do further minority outreach to change the makeup of its classes.