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Expand chart
Icons by Gan Khoon Lay via the Noun Project; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Venture capital is still very much a boys' club, according to a new Axios analysis.

By the numbers: Only 9.65% of decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms are women. The breakdown was 105 female decision-makers out of an industry total of 1,088. That's up from 8.93% in a similar analysis last year, and 7% in 2017. The 2016 mark was 5.7%.

  • We defined "decision-makers" as the top level of a firm's investment management, and we excluded administrative positions like CFOs and heads of investor relations. In other words, people with checkbooks.
  • As in the past, we only included firms that had raised at least one fund of $100 million over the past 5 years (in this case, 2014–2018). That means the sample changes slightly each time. This year it included 284 firms. We also exclude corporate VC funds, since it's often unclear who makes final decisions.

Yes, progress is still very slow, even in a year that saw brand-name firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark, Redpoint Ventures and Union Square Ventures add their first-ever female general partners.

  • VC partnerships simply don't turn over too often, regardless of gender. But, that said, only 19% of the "added" decision-maker spots last year went to women.
  • Firms are clearly concerned about the optics, with more and more obfuscating job titles on their websites — including several who position junior-level women (including EAs) above the male general partners on their team pages.

The bottom line: Do better.

Go deeper: Tech's diversity crisis: 40% of VCs went to Harvard or Stanford

Go deeper

Fed chair says low interest rates aren't driving stock market prices

Jerome Powell. Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / Getty Images

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Wednesday that rock-bottom interest rates aren't playing a role in driving stock prices higher, while noting that vulnerabilities to the financial system are "moderate."

Why it matters: The statement comes amid unshakeable stock prices and a Reddit-fueled market frenzy — prompting widespread fears of a bubble and the role monetary policy has played in that.

2 hours ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Coalition.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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