Apr 3, 2017

By the numbers: Men still run venture capital

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
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Data: Axios Analysis; Icons by Gan Khoon Lay via the Noun Project; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Only 7% of decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms are women, according to an Axios analysis. Moreover, women effectively control just 4.7% of all venture dollars raised in the past five years by U.S.-based firms.

Numbers: Axios identified 1,019 decision-makers at 227 U.S. venture capital firms, of which 72 were women. Of those 227 firms, 169 had zero female decision makers. Those firms raised around $153 billion between 2012 and 2016, of which $9.51 billion is estimated to be controlled by women.

Minor progress: A similar analysis from last year found 5.7% of decision-makers at U.S. VC firms were women. The sample years are slightly different (2011-2015 vs 2012-2016), and the overall number of decision-makers climbed from 906 to 1019. Of that differential, 17.7% of the new "additions" were women ― suggesting that U.S. venture firms are doing a slightly better job adding women to partnerships and/or that women are more likely to help form new firms than they have been in the past.

Methodology: We asked PitchBook for a list of all U.S.-based VC firms that had raised at least one fund of at least $100 million between 2012 and 2016. We then examined the current websites of each firm to determine the decision-making level of investment management, sometimes using regulatory filings for supplemental information. We excluded administrative partners (COO, CFO, IR, marketing, etc.) and, admittedly, there is a bunch of art mixed into the science ― given that different firms use different titles. In short, we were looking for the people who control the investments. For the dollar totals, we examined the amount of capital raised by each firm, and divided it by the number of each firm's female partners (where applicable).

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