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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There has been a sizable increase in the percentage of female decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, albeit nothing near parity, according to an Axios analysis.

By the numbers: Nearly 12.4% of decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms are women, up from 9.65% in a similar study conducted in February 2019.

  • Prior marks were 8.93% (2018), 7% (2017), and 5.7% (2016).
  • Overall in 2020, we found 182 female decision-makers among 1,472 total decision-makers at 351 firms.
  • 213 of the firms (61%) did not have any female decision-makers. Only 34 firms (9.7%) had two or more.

Methodology: As in the past, we asked PitchBook for a list of all U.S.-based venture funds that had raised at least one fund of at least $100 million in the past five years. We then examined the current websites of those firms to determine decision-makers — rather than simply counting anyone listed as "partner." We also excluded administrative partners, such as CFOs and heads of marketing.

  • There is a compelling argument that women are more highly represented in sub-$100 million funds, particularly as more women leave established firms to hang their own shingles. But we stuck with the $100 million threshold in order to maintain apples-to-apples consistency.
  • It's also important to note that not all decision-makers — regardless of gender — have equal-sized checkbooks.

What's happening: Many established venture capital firms, almost always founded by men, do seem to be making a more concerted effort to hire women in senior positions. And this has been enabled, in part, by launching new fund strategies that have required new partner hires.

  • But, but, but: Our overall decision-maker sample expanded from 1,088 last year to 1,472 this year. Only 20% of the added positions are filled by women.

The bottom line: Venture capital is doing better when it comes to gender equality — but it's not doing well.

Go deeper: Women's woeful C-suite representation

Go deeper

Updated Sep 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Rock the Vote event highlights women's suffrage in push to register new voters

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday. Photo: Lenin Nolly/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Female office-holders stood on the shoulders of suffragettes at a virtual Rock the Vote event Monday celebrating a century of progress since the 19th Amendment passed, but demanding more action to achieve equality.

Driving the news: That's what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) and other speakers noted at Monday night's event. Pelosi also celebrated "the most diverse caucus in history, over 60% women, people of color and LGBTQ."

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Senate Democrats demand answers on FBI's Kavanaugh probe

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Democrats are demanding that the FBI hand over "all records and communications" related to the FBI tip line set up to investigate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was a nominee in 2018.

Why it matters: The ask comes after the FBI revealed it received more than 4,500 tips about Kavanaugh when he was awaiting Senate confirmation amid sexual assault allegations. Only the most "relevant" of these tips were forwarded to the Trump White House.