New Survey Reflects Lack of Women and Minorities in Senior Investment Roles at Venture Capital Firms

Black co.A new study indicates, or rather reinforces, what has been known for some time: women and minorities are underrepresented in the tech space at large. This includes venture capital firms.??

The study, released by Deloitte and National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), cites that women represent 11 percent of investment partners or equivalent on venture investment teams.

That?s not to say there is no representation at all. Arlan Hamilton, for one, is the founder of venture capital fund Backstage Capital. She invests in seed-stage startups led by diverse founders.?

But she is one of a few.

?Transparency is a powerful force for change, and we now have a clear benchmark by which we can measure progress to create a more inclusive venture capital industry,” said Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of NVCA.?

“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,” Franklin said.

The report addresses women in venture capital, minorities in venture capital, the impact of talent strategies and more. Survey findings also indicate that the presence of a human capital strategy, as well as talent programs, such as recruitment or mentorship, drives greater diversity on VC teams.? This data will help guide the future programs of NVCA.?

“The fact that the NVCA is examining D&I through in-depth analytics?gives them the opportunity to identify target areas they want to focus on rather than a more ‘peanut butter’ approach which we know is a failed strategy,” said Christie Smith, PhD managing principal, Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion & Community Impact, Deloitte LLP.

“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,” said James Atwell, national managing partner, Technology & Emerging Growth Company practices, Deloitte & Touche LLP. ?”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. ?Addressing diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a tremendous opportunity for venture capital firms.”