London, England-based nonprofit organization Diversity VC has released its 2019 report on the diversity of the venture capital (VC) sector in the UK. The study involved 183 British venture capital firms. The findings reveal that women make up 20% of the workforce in VC firm investing roles, and only 13% at senior level positions. Almost two-thirds of VC firms do not have senior women in their investment teams.
When it comes to investment committees, only 13% have women on then, while more than 80% do not have any woman at all.
According to Diversity VC cofounder Check Warner, this is a disappointing development. The relative success of the #MovingForward and #MeToo movements have not translated into improved inclusion and diversity in senior level positions in VC firms or investment committees.
Diversity VC cofounder and research lead Travis Winstanley said that inclusion and diversity are important components of responsible investing. Diversity can help improve financial performance and profitable investments.
The redeeming news for the VC industry is the 8% increase in the number of women in associate, analyst or similar roles.
The study also examined the educational, professional and ethnic backgrounds of the VC workforce.
A third of employees of British VC firms graduated from a business school or from top universities such as Stanford, Harvard, Cambridge or Oxford. Eight percent of women in junior level positions have a PhD, while only 1% of men. This means that women need to do much more to get into the industry. In terms of professional or industry background, 80% came from consultancy, 18% from finance, 12% from banking / accounting and only 4% from a technology background. For ethnic background, 76% of the 223 who responded to this survey question identified themselves as white.