Only 4 Of The 100 People On Forbes' Midas List Of Venture Capitalists Are Women
With Forbes' newly-released Midas List of top tech investors that features only four females in their list of 100, women in venture capital are ramping up efforts to include themselves in top-tier VC positions.
Annie Lamont of Oak Investment Partners (#46 on the list of investing superstars) said there is likely a hiring bias in the industry that accounts for the lack of women (and the paucity of women in the senior-level investment positions).
"Venture capital is a fabulous profession for women because it’s incredibly meritocratic. It also happens to be one of the most fulfilling careers on the planet. We not only need more female VC’s but we need more female entrepreneurs, they go hand in hand."
Although Lamont and other leading VC ladies say they see progress in the industry, the stats tell a more troubling story: According to National Venture Capital Association and Dow Jones VentureSource surveys, the number of female venture capitalists is actually declining, with 14 percent of female investors in 2008 decreasing to 11 percent in 2011.
Other Midas List awardees have a slew of suggestions for how to get women more involved in venture capital.
Jenny Lee of GGV Capital (and #52 on the list) said there should be more associate entry level positions for women, and more support offered through associations for female investors already working in the industry.
Beth Seidenberg, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers who placed just outside of the Midas List's top 100, said women need more role models in the profession to help figure out how to achieve upper-level roles at the top investment firms.
"The first thing we need to do is fix the top of the funnel. We all need to encourage more women to go to school and train in engineering. We need broad outreach to universities and to encourage women to learn technical skills."
via Forbes, Top Photo Credit: WENN