Gender & Venture Capitalism

A different perspective on the world of venture capitalists. As HBS Prof. Paul Gompers stated, “[v]enture capitalism is all about collaboration with partners, and you hope there’s a diverse set of experiences at a firm so that people can question new ventures.” Unfortunately, the VC world of Silicon Valley doesn’t reflect this ideal.

These two articles highlight the lack of gender diversity at VC firms and discuss the recent gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers filed by Ellen Pao. While Pao ended up losing in court, the case did throw the spotlight onto the dearth of female representation in the VC industry.

The Gender Problem in Venture Capital Is Really, Really Bad:

  • Fast facts:
    • Industry-wide, 77 to 79 percent of VC firms have never had a woman represent them on the board of one of their portfolio companies.
    • More than 75% don’t have any women working as venture capitalists at all.

Female-Run Venture Capital Funds Alter the Status Quo

  • This article discusses emerging VC firms headed up women and, to some extent, focusing on women led companies to invest in (this should not be interpreted to mean companies focusing on selling “female products”)
  • Fast facts:
    • Just 6 percent of partners at venture capital firms are women
    • A study conducted by Gomper found that “a lack of inclusion and mentorship by male partners hurts female partners in a material way, by driving down their overall returns.”

2 thoughts on “Gender & Venture Capitalism