Study finds little progress for women in venture


Women make up 45 percent of the venture capital workforce in the United States, but fill only 11 percent of key investment roles, such as general partner, managing partner or managing director, according to a new survey.

The results, while slightly better than earlier studies, continue to paint a bleak picture of gender diversity in the business.

The work by the National Venture Capital Association and Deloitte hopes to set a baseline for progress in the industry. But it also underscores to the challenge that comes with reversing a decades-long pattern of hiring males, and often while males, for top decision making positions.

The study collected information from 217 firms of various sizes and geographies in the United States. What it found is that women generally find themselves in support roles. They make up 95 percent of administrative jobs and 75 percent of investor relations, communications or marketing teams.

Overall, women were less likely to find positions in smaller firms and firms in the Midwest.

The study largely dismissed its slightly more positive finding that 11 percent of women fill key investment roles.

“While this figure is higher than several previous studies, it does not necessarily indicate women’s representation in leadership has increase,” the study noted. “Rather, our 217 firm sample, which also includes data from the universe of VC firms beyond the most well-known firms, had a larger proportion of women at the investment partner level.”

The work also looked at minorities in venture. What it found is that black employees make up 3 percent of the workforce in venture and had no investment partners in the sample. Hispanic employees made up 4 percent of the workforce in the study and 2 percent of investment partners.

 

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