VC sector still has lengths to go to achieve diversity in senior management

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Women and minorities are still missing from most venture capital board rooms although there are a lot of them working in the VC space, new research shows.

Nearly half, or 45 per cent, of the venture capital workforce is comprised of women but very few of them are making investment decisions, the US National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and Deloitte say in a recently released report.

Women are considerably over-represented in administrative roles with 75 per cent of them holding an investor relations, communications or marketing position at their firm.

Only 15 per cent of the women VCs are part of their firms’ investment teams, according to the NVCA-Deloitte Human Capital Survey.

The findings also show that women are better represented in larger teams and organisations.

There is also a severe lack of racial minorities, not just in senior investment roles, but across the VC industry as a whole.

The NVCA-Deloitte survey found that only 22 per cent of the people employed in VC are non-white.

Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of NVCA, said, “For the first time, we have a comprehensive picture of the industry as well as a better understanding of existing programs to support diverse teams.

“Research shows that diverse teams make better decisions and, with this baseline measurement in hand, we now turn to developing the tools and resources that will empower all venture firms to take action.”

Some of the findings in the research indicate that having of a human capital strategy or introducing talent programs, such as recruitment or mentorship, tend to improve diversity at VC firms.

James Atwell, managing partner at Deloitte & Touche, commented, “What’s key for the future success of venture firms is instilling a culture of inclusion and implementing human capital programs and policies that foster and enrich the composition of a diverse and inclusive talent model that encourages individuals to be their authentic selves in their careers.

“Our survey indicates that firms that have a human capital strategy have a higher percentage of female and minority employees overall, and we know that having a diverse workforce can improve business performance.”

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