The next generation of women venture capitalists are rising through the leadership ranks — though there are some caveats to consider.
A new survey looking at compensation for women in the venture industry this year found a higher concentration of women in lower-level firm positions than last year, representing around 43% of directors and principals but only 18% of general partners. Smaller funds tend to be more gender-diverse: Venture groups with less than $100 million in assets under management are more likely than larger firms to have a strong representation of women in high-ranking positions.
The share of women represented in director and principal positions significantly increased in the past two years — from 27% in 2020 to 32% in 2021 to 43% currently. At the same time, the share of women in higher-level positions, such as managing general partner or senior managing director, stands below 25% and has for the past two years.
This indicates that either there is a broken rung hindering the professional mobility of women in the venture workplace and/or that the representation of women at these senior levels is set to increase as more women are hired, mentored and given the opportunity to rise within these firms. Jody Thelander, the founder and CEO of the consulting firm that provided the analysis for the report published by First Republic Bank, hopes that this data signals an upcoming change in the industry.
“Right now, we’re seeing greater transparency into compensation, career paths and succession planning than ever before. And there’s a stronger mandate for D&I, both from the managing directors and their limited partners,” Thelander told TechCrunch. “As a result, more and more women are looking at venture as a serious career path, and that’s why we are seeing them start to show up more in these junior ranks.”
Plus, the report noted, smaller firms having a strong representation of women in high-level positions likely means that more women are branching out to launch their own firms. The share of women who are managing general partners at firms with less than $100 million AUM is 31%, compared to 14% at firms with $500 million or more AUM. Regardless of where a woman goes, however, the issue of fair and equitable pay is always a topic of discussion.