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Hey! So Glad You're Here.

So glad you're here! My name is Francesca & with Built By Women I aim to highlight female founders, their stories, the challenges they had to overcome, and their roadmap to success -- while advocating for gender equality.  I hope that delving into these journeys can be of inspiration to all womxn out there to pursue their passions.

Francesca Keller Sarmiento


Gender inequality is alive and well in 2021. From the proverbial glass ceiling to the fact that women shoulder the brunt responsibilities of household work... sexism is still ubiquitous. In fact, it was women who bore the brunt of the COVID19 pandemic (not just household work, but women have drastically dropped out of the labor force, setting women back decades in terms of equality). A recent report by the UNDP ("Tackling Social Norms") ascertained that approximately 90% of men and women hold some form of bias against women. The report also found that no country in the world has full gender equality revealing that structural gender inequality affects women across the globe.

Thus, it is no surprise that female entrepreneurs face many hurdles, from less access to funding, only 2.8% of venture capital was invested in all-female teams in 2019,   to having to deal with bias against them, according to HBR women hold over 7% of board seats in 200 of the most funded U.S. venture-backed companies. Moreover, the WEF’S Global Gender Gap Report found that only 6.6% of the US’ Fortune 500 companies have a woman CEO (also noting that the US currently ranks 59th in women’s labor force participation overall).

Another recent study on gender inequality was done in unison by the powerhouses McKinsey & Co. and Lean In, who for the fifth year in a row, created the Women in the Workplace report. They observed that women are disproportionately being held back at a much earlier point in their careers. For every 100 men that were promoted/hired into a role as a first-time manager, only 72 white women were promoted or hired — a disparity that was even more drastic for women from ethnic minorities, only 68 Latinas and 58 black women were hired to managerial roles per 100 men. 


What those who perpetuate sexist tropes perhaps don't take into account is that —as the WEF’S Global Gender Gap Report also noted— gender parity is vital for both economies and societies to thrive. With these gruesome stats, it is vital to highlight the work of women — and what is BUILT BY WOMEN.


Research is paramount in understanding how gender norms and social constructs affect our society. Our mission is not just to uncover inequities female founders have to face but to propel all womxn forward (in all aspects of their lives) as they strive for equality.

Research allows a detailed look at the dynamics in play which is vital to come up with strategies to address today's challenges.


Find below some of the research resources we regularly consult:

lean in.png

Tackling social


United Nations Development Programme

Women in the Workplace 2020

LeanIn.Org and

McKinsey & Company

Women in 

Work Index

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)

Global Gender

Gap Report

World Economic

Forum (WEF)

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