The purpose of this report is to cast a light on the men and women working in U.K. venture capital.
For six months, Diversity VC worked with the BVCA and Craft.co to analyse more than 1,500 senior investment professionals at 160 U.K. firms. And it's the very first report of its type. We hope this contributes to the ongoing discussion around diversity.
While not exhaustive, this report is the very first of its type, and provides a valuable insight into the decision makers who are helping create the companies, jobs, cultures and products of the future.
We would love to get your feedback on further areas to look into at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Full Report
We have distilled the report into the a few key findings, but feel free to view or download the report below.
Women are underrepresented in U.K. venture capital
We found that women comprise of just 27% of the venture capital labour force compared to 47% in the U.K. labour force overall. This figure includes non investment professionals within venture capital.
Women are significantly underrepresented in investment teams
When specifically considering investment roles (from the titles of Analyst to Partner) women are further underrepresented at only 18%. The equivalent figure for non-investment roles (such as Investor Relations, Marketing and Legal) stands at 43%.
Women represent just 13% of decision makers in U.K. venture capital
We classify a decision maker within a venture capital firm as an individual on an investment committee, typically an investment partner, who makes the final decision over which investments to make. Women represent only 13% of these decision makers.
A significant number of firms have no women representation at all
Almost half of all firms have no women in their investment teams. Looking exclusively at decision makers, a staggering 66% of investment teams have no women decision makers.
Whilst we’re starting from a low base, we should be optimistic about the road ahead.
There is significant willingness in the industry to redress the gender balance.
20% senior women by 2020
We recognise that to significantly improve female representation at a senior level requires an industry‑wide effort.
Our goal is to see women holding at least 20% of senior decision-making positions in U.K. venture capital by 2020 – mirroring the target of Level 20 – and we will work with firms to set targets for themselves that are both ambitious and achievable.
Our recommended initiatives
- 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
- Continue to collect data
Further Reading & Organisations promoting diversity
Race / ethnicity
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Asian American Leaders in Silicon Valley
- The Importance of Diversity to High-Technology Growth
- Why are Venture Capitalists Ignoring the Future
- Diversity in tech and the myth of meritocracy
- A Detailed Breakdown Of Racial And Gender Diversity Data Across U.S. Venture Capital Firms
- Community and Capital in Entrepreneurship
Education / Human Capital
- How diversity makes us smarter
- Human capital theory and venture capital firms
- The effect of Intellectual Capital on Corporate Entrepreneurship in High Technology New Ventures
- On growth drivers of high-tech start-ups: Exploring the role of founders' human capital and venture capital
- Gatekeepers of Venture Growth: A Diana Project Report on the Role and Participation of Women in VC
- The first comprehensive study on women in venture capital and their impact on female founders
- Women Entrepreneurs and Venture Capital: Managing the Shadow Negotiation
- New Venture Financing and Subsequent Business Growth in Men- and Women-Led Businesses
- MBA Gender Pay Gap: An Industry Breakdown
- VC financing and the entrepreneurship gender gap
- CrunchBase Women in Venture
- Towards a theory of corruption, nepotism, and new venture creation in developing countries
- It Does Matter How You Get to the Top: Differentiating Status from Reputation
- Corporate Equality Index 2016
- The Business Impact of LGBT-Supportive Workplace Policies
- Executive Diversity
- Introducing London-only visas can keep us ahead of the pack
- Scale Up Report (Chapter 5, Section 3, Page 51) - Barriers to recruiting talent from overseas should be removed
- Ottawa reopens immigrant investor venture capital pilot program
- New fund Unshackled offers paychecks, visas to back unlikelier founders