It’s as you were for women in VC, but founder figures are rising

2 Feb 2015

Women are making no inroads into decision-making on a large scale, however, female founders are starting to emerge, a report on venture capital (VC) firms in the US suggests.

Fortune’s look at the top 92 VC firms in the US has found that just 24 of the 546 most senior investment professionals are women – a rise of just one in the last 12 months.

After broadening the base to 191 firms – reducing the amount each firm had to raise in a fund from US$200m to US$100m – the figures rose slightly and, when looking at staff across every level of the companies women in fact represented 10pc of employee numbers.

Hardly a promising set of figures, however another report released over the weekend shows there may yet be signs of hope.

Female founders finding their voice

TechCrunch looked at the other side of the coin, the founders seeking the investment of VC funds. And here, the numbers were a little better.

“Of the 1090 US startups that raised Series A rounds in 2014, approximately 10pc were founded by women,” reads its report, which suggests that, as these women progress through the chain of investment, to growth and onto to VC membership themselves, the figures will further level out in future.

New York is pointed out as one of the cities in the US that could, in fact, spawn a whole core of talented women across all industries.

“Series A funding isn’t the only evidence of a diminishing gender gap in 2014,” reads TechCrunch. “For the first time, UC Berkeley’s Intro to Computer Science course saw more female than male students participating.”

A step in the right direction

It’s weird to think of 10pc as a large figure, but at least gender representation is heading in a slightly more balanced direction.

Silicon Republic has looked at this area of tech in great detail for a number of years, with many pieces of research showing the right fostering of women in STEM subjects from an early age is something that the entire tech world should encourage.

Indeed an Intel report late last year showed that creating, making and inventing could be the key to even out the gender imbalance in STEM.

Ireland iin particular could benefit from an increased number of women in the tech world, considering the acute labour shortage in the country at the moment. A report from EMC a few weeks ago highlighted that, in the near future, women have a huge potential for making a major difference to the tech sector.

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

Women planting a money tree, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic