Adding Women to Venture Capital Boardrooms
In a recent article by, BetaBoston, A Boston Globe Site, people are noticing that they’re aren’t enough women in venture capital boardrooms. Even since the business came to be after World War II, some things haven’t changed about the venture capital business, and that is the drive and desire for outsized returns. Another aspect of the business that remains constant is who is seated at the long conference tables determining which companies need more funding:males. One of the oldest acting firms, Greylock Partners is celebrating its 50th anniversary but has never hired a woman to sit around at the table and approve deals. This is a problem that no one can seem to fix. According to the author’s count, theres only ten female partners at stand alone Boston venture firms. Seven of these women founded or co-founded their own firms and the other three are at established firms. The author thinks that this shows how challenging it is for women to ascend into partner level at some of Boston’s most prominent and established venture firms. The author interviewed and spoke with many people on the issue of getting women in these partner positions, these are some of points people addressed when asked.
A female who holds a junior level position asked what could be done to help the current situation, she responds by stating that managers and bosses need to fight the perception and take women out to bond. This meaning out to dinner, drinks or whatever ways they could bond and get to know one another better. She believes what matters is that she feels supported by her co-worker. Generally, women don’t want to put themselves in dicey situations so as a result they close off opportunities which may lead to missed chances.
Another perspective was drawn from Todd Dagres of Spark Capital. When asked if there were any initiatives in place to recruit women, his response was that there are fewer female entrepreneurs and that successful entrepreneurs make the best VC’s. That being said, he mentions that there are more women entrepreneurs emerging on the scene and that they hope to hire more women in the coming years. It will be interesting to see if these firms actually follow through and hire more females on to their teams.
This blog post is based off of this article.