In a recent blog post I asked, “Why don’t more women become comedians?” While top performers such as Margaret Cho and Tina Fey are as successful as top male comedians, there remains a significant gender gap in the business, particularly in stand-up. Over the past 12 months at Zanies, arguably the most active stand-up club in Chicago, there were 5 female headliners vs. 67 male headliners. The current teams at iO, arguably the most active local improv theater, include 93 women and 176 men.

I decided to find out why.