By Ryan Velez
The Network Journal reports that a recent survey has shed light—or confirmed thoughts, depending on who you ask—on the under-representation of minorities and women in the tech space. One particular area where this divide is clear is venture capital firms, according to the Deloitte and National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). The exact numbers cite that that women represent 11 percent of investment partners or equivalent on venture investment teams.
The report covers a wide variety of topics in the venture capital area, ranging from women in venture capital to minorities in venture capital, the impact of talent strategies and more. Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of NVCA, notes that the survey results will further efforts for both his company and others to provide more transparency in the hiring process. “For the first time, we have a comprehensive picture of the industry as well as a better understanding of existing programs to support diverse teams. Research shows that diverse teams make better decisions and, with this baseline measurement in hand, we now turn to developing the tools and resources that will empower all venture firms to take action,” he explained.
Christie Smith, Ph.D. managing principal, Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion & Community Impact, Deloitte LLP, adds that part of the success behind the analytics is the focus on certain target areas as opposed to what she calls a “peanut butter” approach, which she considers to be a failed strategy.
The methodology is one thing, but, where exactly do both women and the venture capital industry go to try and improve this issue? “What’s key for the future success of venture firms is instilling a culture of inclusion and implementing human capital programs and policies that foster and enrich the composition of a diverse and inclusive talent model that encourages individuals to be their authentic selves in their careers,” said James Atwell, national managing partner, Technology & Emerging Growth Company practices, Deloitte & Touche LLP. He adds that the companies that do have a human capital strategy bring in more female and minority employees on the whole. He also notes that diversity provides more opportunities for improvement in business performance.