A University of Utah study suggest that investors are less likely to buy into a company led by a woman.

Female CEOs may find it hard to debut their company on the stock market because investors are more likely to trust a company led by a man, according to a study from the University of Utah.

“Bias against top-level female executives seems entrenched despite strides women have made in filling management positions within firms making their initial public offerings,” Lyda Bigelow, assistant professor at the university’s David Eccles School of Business, said.

Bigelow’s study found the “lack of female-led IPOs suggests a potentially larger-problem — a gender-based capital gap for new ventures.”

The study found that none of the 19 high-tech IPOs was led by a female CEO. All but two of those firms had one or more lower-ranking female executives.

The reluctance to invest in companies led by women comes as the number of female executives grows.

Between 1997 and 2007, the number of women holding corporate officer positions grew from 10 percent to 55 percent.

The researchers created a mock company, one led by a male and the other a female, based on a previously successful IPO.

A group of more than 200 MBA candidates, 45 of whom were female, were asked to assess how attractive the company was for investment.

“Like the glass ceiling of corporate America that has limited the advancement of female managers, female entrepreneurs face a ‘green ceiling’ when it comes to financing,” the researchers said in the study.

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