French Tech: bosses' pay up 30% in 2021

The Galion Project, the leading think tank for French Tech entrepreneurs, has taken a closer look at the remuneration of startup executives in France. In 2 years, this has risen by 30%. However, this trend masks a widening gap between the salaries of female and male CEOs by 2021.

Rising CEO salaries keep pace with fund-raising activity

Faced with a lack of data on the remuneration of startup founders, The Galion Project decided to conduct its own survey, carrying out an initial study in September 2019, followed by a second in January 2021. What emerges is that CEO salaries have risen by an average of 30% compared to 2019, with a median at 120,000 euros gross per year. More specifically, the study "What salaries for Tech founders in the Galleon? Edition 2022" reveals that 75% of executives earn more than 85,000 euros, with a quarter in the bracket above 153,000 euros.

This rise in salaries is directly linked to the considerable increase in amounts raised. French Tech raised 11.1 billion euros in 2021, twice as much as the previous year. Proof that the amounts raised have a significant influence on CEO salaries: if less than 5 million euros have been raised by the company, salaries range between 70,000 euros and 115,000 euros; if more than 100 million euros have been raised by the startup, salaries oscillate between 175,000 euros and 280,000 euros.

Significant gaps between men and women CEO

These good results are marred by a chronic problem that the ecosystem is unable to solve: the pay gap between men and women has widened again in 2 years. The median is now 90,000 euros for women, 30,000 euros less than for founders. The gap now stands at 33%, up from 28% in 2019.

The sample taken into account in The Galion Project's study is not, however, representative of the French female tech ecosystem. Figures, a platform that aggregates the salaries of over 200 French startups regardless of their level of maturity, indicates that the salary gap between men and women is 3.7%, well below the national average of 9%.

Beyond salary, The Galion Project finds that women are under-represented in positions of high responsibility. Even if some startups have appointed women to key positions, there's still " a gigantic gap to fill ", says Alexia Boeckx, co-founder of A Female Agency, a recruitment agency for female talent in the tech sector, in the columns of Les Echos newspaper.