‘Women represent just 13% of decision makers in the venture capital sector’

women's leadership


Women comprise of just 27% of the entire Venture Capital labour force compared to 47% in the UK labour force overall and represent just 13% of senior leaders, according to a new report.

The Women in UK Venture Capital 2017 report by Diversity VC and the British Venture Capital Association finds that in investment roles such as analysts and partners women are further underrepresented at only 18%. This compares with 43% for non-investment roles such as marketing, legal and investor relations.

Although the report finds that women make up 29% of junior roles in the sector and 25% of middle managers, that number drops to 13% for decision makers, that is, individuals on an investment committee, such as investment partners, who make the final decision over which investments to make.  Some 66% of investment teams have no women decision makers.

The report says there is “significant willingness in the industry to redress the gender balance”.

It cites, for instance, Calum Paterson, Managing Partner and Scottish Equity Partners Vice Chairman at the BVCA who says: “In a deal‐doing environment, there’s an obvious risk that the narrative becomes too macho and gung‐ho, if there isn’t the right balance and range of perspectives within the team. That has the potential to undermine the quality of decision making and produce sub‐ optimal outcomes.”

It calls for an industry‑wide effort and says it would like to see women holding at least 20% of senior decision-making positions in UK venture capital by 2020. Diversity VC and the BVCA are working with firms to set targets which they say are “both ambitious and achievable”.

 The report calls for more action to attract more women into venture capital, retain and promote more women in venture capital, promote women and diversity in the wider ecosystem, partner with and promote the work of other organisations and continue to collect data.


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