Women Still A Small Minority At Higher Reaches Of World's Venture Capital Sector

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 20 November 2017


While women make up 51 per cent of the global population, they make up a much smaller share of this significant area of finance and business, a report says.

A report on the world’s venture capital industry shows that women make up an average of 21 per cent of staff at venture capital funds, with this share dropping to 11 per cent of senior staff, and only just 6 per cent of board members at venture capital firms, new figures from Preqin, a research group, show.

However, women-owned venture capital vehicles have seen fundraising reach new heights in 2017 YTD, as 13 funds have secured $2.4 billion as of September. This is up from the $1.8 billion raised by 25 women-owned funds in all of 2016, and follows a consistent trend of growing activity over the last five years. Looking ahead, there are 58 further women-owned funds in market, seeking a combined $6 billion from investors – 4 per cent of total capital sought by the industry.

Women-owned funds are also increasingly active deal makers, being involved with 510 financings in 2017 so far, worth a total of $6.4 billion. The largest proportions of these were in software and internet companies, mirroring overall industry trends.

The figures have been produced at a time when there has been considerable talk about the need to give women more opportunity to rise to the top of financial services firms, including wealth management. 

“The venture capital industry is undergoing a storm of controversy over the representation and treatment of women both as founders and as venture capitalists. Initiatives to promote gender equality in the industry have included high-profile decency pledges and women-focused mentorship and empowerment programs. Women only represent one in five staff at venture capital firms, and one in ten senior staff, highlighting the uncommon nature of these programs, and the structural and long-term challenges they face,” Felice Egidio, head of venture capital products at Preqin, said. 


Register for WealthBriefing today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes