Gender Differences in Founder’s HR Strategy and What Works When? Evidence from New Ventures in Innovation Industries

Jiayi Bao, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abstract: This project examines gender differences in founder’s human resource (HR) strategy and how such differences impact business outcomes, focusing on nascent ventures in high-tech innovative industries. Male and female founders may have different preferences for task- oriented versus people-oriented HR practices. Specifically, we find that male-led ventures are more likely to adopt stock ownership and bonus plan while female-led ventures are more likely to adopt paid vacation, paid sick leave, flex time or job sharing, and tuition reimbursement. We evaluate whether a gender-typical HR strategy is beneficial or detrimental to venture outcomes. We address Mack Institute’s research priorities of Strategies for Innovating and Evolving and Leading for Innovation, as we study gender differences in leadership decisions regarding human resource strategies and how these differences impact venture outcomes in the context of innovation industries.