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06-06-2017 - - 0 comments
Women in UK Venture Capital 2017

As the lead of the data team for Diversity VC, it gives me great pleasure to share our inaugural research report, Women in U.K. Venture Capital: 2017.

When Diversity VC began this study in November 2016, we were taking a voyage into the unknown. We’d just finished a comprehensive desk-study,* and found that no one had ever done a review of women in U.K. venture capital.

For the very first time, we are able to cast a light on the men and women working in U.K. venture capital. With the support of the BVCA, and our data partner we’ve gone to great lengths to make it as extensive as possible. The study covers 160 active venture capital firms and over 1,500 employees, providing a comprehensive view of the industry today.

It’s sobering to see that women are so underrepresented in our industry. Only 13% of decision makers (partners or equivalent) in U.K. venture capital are women, and a staggering 48% of investment teams have no women at all.

As venture capitalists, the culture and tone we set in our firms has a significant impact. It not only affects our immediate colleagues, but impacts on our portfolio companies, and on the wider society too. 6 out of 10 of the world’s most valuable companies were fuelled to success by venture capital, whose culture directly affects +100,000 jobs and permeates through the products we all use on a daily basis.

Whilst we’re starting from a low base, we should be optimistic about the road ahead. There is a greater representation of women in junior roles (at 29%) and there is significant willingness in the industry to redress the gender balance further still.

This is just the start. We will continue to provide research on the industry – documenting our progress, and sharing examples of successful women and other underrepresented groups. More significantly, we aim to proactively engage with firms and help facilitate their programs of change.

We hope that firms share our vision and ambition, and will join us in adopting a target of 20% women in senior, decision-making roles by 2020.

I hope this report provides valuable insights and pause for thought, and I look forward to working together towards a fairer and more diverse venture capital industry.

Travis Winstanley, Games Investment Director, Catalis Group

Co-Founder & Data Project Lead, Diversity VC

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