To help make gender equality in business leadership a reality, Perkins Coie proudly launches Le[a]dBetter, an innovative program that supports startups that have women in senior executive roles.

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At Perkins Coie, we want to do our part to help level the business leadership playing field. Inspired by the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, legislation drafted in response to the Lilly Ledbetter gender wage gap lawsuit, Le[a]dBetter is an innovative educational, networking and alternative fee arrangement program designed to offer support to companies in the startup ecosystem that demonstrate inclusion and business leadership diversity in their executive suite.

Le[a]dBetter Program and Services

We know that capital is the primary catalyst for business growth. To help women business leaders maximize their company’s capital, we are offering qualifying startups that have at least one woman in a senior leadership role a 15% discount off of our standard hourly rates for certain legal services for a limited period of time. Le[a]dBetter also includes fee packages that are not based on hourly rates.

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• Emerging Companies & Venture Capital
• Technology Transactions & Privacy
• Intellectual Property - Patent, Trademark & Copyright
• Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
• Labor & Employment
• Real Estate


To round out our program, we are also providing participants with access to:

  • educational seminars developed to help women executives further enhance their leadership and business skills; and
  • ongoing opportunities to network with other business leaders.

Why Focus on Startups?

We developed Le[a]dBetter to encourage startups and their investors to establish and value a culture of inclusion and gender equality from day one. Women play a vital role in the success of our firm, and we know they can and have played critical roles in the successes of numerous startups. We want to do our part to support startups that are committed to excellence in diversity and demonstrate that commitment by recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of women.

Women in Law Empowerment Forum Logo Five Years of Gold From Women in Law Empowerment Forum

Perkins Coie is proud to receive the 2015 Gold Standard Certification from Women In Law Empowerment Forum. This is our fifth consecutive year in receiving the top level certification. MORE


On International Women's Day and beyond, Perkins Coie pledges to support efforts that call for gender-equality in business leadership.

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Women Leaders

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  • A recent research study conducted by Babson College revealed that 97% of venture-backed companies in the U.S. have male CEOs.
  • According to PitchBook, of the 323 Bay Area startups that received Series A funding in 2015, just 7.1% - 23 companies - had a woman founder on the team. In the U.S., of the 1,186 companies that received Series A funding in 2015, just 6.6% -79 companies - included a woman on the founding team.
  • Funding of startups led by African-Americans is extremely low. Of the 10,238 startups that raised funding from 2012 to 2014, only 24 startups founded by African-American women were funded according to a recent #ProjectDiane report published by digitalundivided.
  • Of the 546 “decision-makers” at U.S.-based venture capital firms that had raised at least one fund of $200M in 2014, only 23 (4.2%) of the decision-makers were women, according to FORTUNE.