The leading association for the stock and executive compensation profession
Join a professional community 6,000+ members strong
Continue your investment in your professional development and community
Our member care center is here to assist you
Country-specific guidance for stock plan design and administration
Connect with a chapter in your area
Learn more about and engage your peers
Attend an NASPP event for unbeatable professional development and networking
Ask, find and provide answers to burning industry questions
Professional development to keep you at the top of your game
Expert industry perspectives and guidance for your daily work
Enrich you career and discover new opportunities
Be there for the 27th annual event Sept. 16-19, 2019 in New Orleans!
For today’s blog entry, I present highlights from recent publications that focus on equity compensation and gender.
A recent study by Carta (“The Gap Table: Analyzing the Gender Gap in Equity”) looks at distribution of equity between men and women at over 6,000 of their client companies (which “skew towards early-stage venture backed startups”). Here are some of their findings:
Carta also found that women represent just 29% of employees at companies with up to 10 employees. It isn’t until companies approach 400 employees that female representation exceeds 40%. This is important because, as Carta observes and we all know from experience, employees who join startups in earlier stages generally receive lower-priced option grants. As the company grows, these employees’ equity awards are often worth significantly more than the equity awards held by more recently hired employees.
Carta found even more of a disparity among founders:
Earlier this year, Fidelity analyzed exercise behavior of employees at their client companies to assess differences between women and men. Emily Cervino highlights some of their findings in an article on LinkedIn (“Who's the Better Exerciser: Men or Women?”). During the period they studied, nearly 7 out of 10 exercises were directed by men, which Emily notes is largely reflective of grant practices (men receive more stock options, so they also exercise more).
Interestingly, Fidelity found that women tend to realize more gain on their exercises. The mean average of gain for women is 6% higher than the mean average of gain for men.
Fidelity corporate clients can elect to have Fidelity automatically execute exercises of unexercised stock options at their expiration date. Among their clients that utilize this feature, Fidelity found that a greater percentage of women allowed their stock options to be automatically exercised as compared to the percentage of men that allowed this. I have to wonder if the higher gains women realized might be partly attributable to that—sometimes the best thing you can do for your investments is leave them alone.
These studies seem like just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to looking at equity compensation and gender bias. I expect we’ll be hearing more on this topic in the next few years.
ESPP Plans: Upping Participation Rates - Part 1
Employee stock purchase plans ("ESPPs") have been a solid equity compensation offering for a long while. A voluntary plan offered to broad based employees, ESPPs allow participants the op...Read More
Maximizing Equity Plan Share Reserves
It's proxy season, and with that comes the typical topics of discussion you'd expect - how Say on Pay votes are cast, dissecting the reactions to the new CEO pay ratio disclosures, and moni...Read More
Elon Musk’s Mega Grant
Last week, Tesla shareholders approved a massive 10-year performance-based stock option grant to Elon Musk. Here are a few interesting tidbits about it (as described in Tesla's Read More
Ten Things About Qualified ESPPs
For today’s blog entry, I have ten fun facts about ESPPs, courtesy of the NASPP/Deloitte Consulting 2017 Domestic Stock Plan Design Survey.
Should You Keep or Implement an ESPP?
The presence of employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) in the equity mix has been long and fairly consistent. Mostly drama free, for the past several years ESPPs seem to often live under the rada...Read More