- Research from the new Diversity VC initiative found just 13% of decision makers in UK VC are women
- 48% of VC firms have no women in their investment teams
- Investors say the lack of women in VC is a “wake-up call”
When it comes to boosting the number of women in tech, people often focus on how many women take up technical subjects like engineering.
But there’s another area where women are significantly underrepresented, which potentially has a huge impact on the tech ecosystem.
Venture capital plays a major role in making or breaking tech startups — Facebook, Snapchat, Uber, and many others relied on massive funding rounds to become successful companies.
But new data shows that it’s mostly men who are deciding which tech firms should get millions of pounds in funding.
Diversity VC is an initiative to get more women and minorities in venture capital firms. It profiled 1,500 people across 160 VC firms in the UK and found just 13% of venture capital investors in decision-making roles — partner level or equivalent — are women.
Almost half don’t have any women in their investment team at all. And only 18% of investors across all British VC firms are women.
This isn’t entirely because women don’t actually choose VC as a career option. About a quarter of all venture capital employees are women, but clearly not all of them rise to senior positions.
The picture is even worse in the US. Some 45% of VC employees are female, but just 11% of decision makers are women.
Diversity VC cofounder Travis Winstanley set a goal that by 2020, 20% of VCs in decision making positions should be women.
“In no small part, venture capitalists are funding the future,” he said. “Looking at ten of the world’s most valuable companies, six were fuelled by venture capital funding in their early years, so it is clear that the decisions that VCs impact the society in which we live.”
Beezer Clarkson is the managing director of Sapphire Ventures, an LP which invests in early stage funds.
She said in a statement: “[What] I observe is that often I am being pitched by 100% male [general partners].
“This may be the state of venture today, however I firmly believe that a diverse roster of VCs and LPs brings a wider range of perspectives to the table, which would be beneficial to deal sourcing, investment decision making and ultimately to the startups themselves.