Catalyze Seattle


About the project



We surveyed over 300 employees or founders at startups in the Seattle area about their experiences. To gather responses, we invited folks from our personal networks that work at Seattle startups, and asked them to pass on the survey as well. We also promoted the survey online. 

Data was collected December 2016, using the survey platform Qualtrics.  Respondents self-identified as working at a startup, and we limited the company size to 250 employees or less. All responses were anonymous, and we collected both qualitative and quantitative data. 

Catalyze Seattle was an all-volunteer project. 


Respondent demographics


58% female
39% male
2% non-binary/prefer to self describe
1% prefer not to say

*Note: we would have liked to include data analysis of non- binary/prefer to self-describe respondents, but were unable to do so due to small sample size. 

Race and ethnicity

1% American Indian / Alaskan Native
12% Asian / Pacific Islander
4% Black / African American
5% Hispanic or Latino
68% White / Caucasian
6% Multiple Ethnicity
2% Prefer not to say


0% were under 18
4% were18-24
46% were 25-34
27% were 35-44
18% were 45-54
5% were 55-64
1% were 65-74
0% were 75 or older

Education Level

1% High school graduate
5% Some college
2% Two-year degree
52% Bachelor's Degree or equivalent
32% Master's Degree
8% Doctoral or Professional Degree

Job Level

34% Owner/Executive/C-level
14% Senior Management (Ex: Director, VP)
13% Middle Management (Ex: Manager, Sr. Manager)
5% Supervisor / Team Lead
33% Individual Contributor

Company Size

50% worked at a company with less than 25 employees
22% worked at a company with between 25-99 employees
28% worked at a company with between 100-259 employees


About the Researchers


Martha Burwell is an independent gender equity advocate who helps small businesses become more inclusive through strategic consulting, hands-on workshops, and research. An avid traveler, she’s visited over 30 countries and lived and volunteered in 4. 

Ruchika Tulshyan is the author of The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality In The Workplace (Forbes, 2015/16). She is also a speaker and journalist who writes regularly on the topic of leadership and diversity for Forbes. Ruchika is also adjunct professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Communication.