At Inspirefest 2016, Astia CEO Sharon Vosmek told investors to pay attention to women-led start-ups and start writing some cheques.

She painted a metaphor of a road sign at a busy intersection in LA, which irritated drivers as they got closer, that read “you are the traffic”.

She said the same is true for venture capital investors who fail to make the investment in women-led start-ups.

Women-led start-ups attract just 7pc of the total amount of venture capital invested annually and, correspondingly, only 7pc of partners at venture capital firms are women.

Astia is a community of experts committed to propelling women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fuelling innovation and driving economic growth.

She said: “Stop being the one fund with no women in your portfolio. Take time to listen to women.

“Shut your mouth and write the cheque.”

Words by John Kennedy