Women founders of healthtech companies are having problems in securing institutional funding. A study conducted by British Business Bank and Diversity VC found that 89% percent of the £5.6bn venture capital invested in the UK in 2017 went to all-male founding teams, only 10% went to mixed gender teams and just 1% to female-only teams. Another report from the World Economic Forum found that only 2% of venture capital in Europe and the US went to female-only teams.
In terms of ethnic diversity, a 2018 GEM Report found that black women received only 0.0006% of all tech venture funding since 2016. Though there has been some improvement, the rate of change is very slow and is expected to take until 2045 for female-only teams to get 10% of all venture capital deals.
There are three barriers to equal opportunities in venture capital investment. These include investors’ reliance on pattern of recognition for their investment decision, the popularity of the so-called warm introductions that favor male start-up founders and the lack of female representation in investment teams.
On the personal or individual level, steps should be taken to address subconscious bias. At the organizational level, the suggested actions to take to help improve this issues include improving gender equality or diversity in venture capital companies, implementing measures to reduce reliance of warm introductions and networking and establishing a process to ensure that the so-called “cold submissions” will be given fair evaluation.