Tech is male dominated. Venture Capital is male dominated. Small wonder the Web doesn’t serve women and all humankind as well as it could. And should.
This is the most recent detailed article I can find about women VCs, from Forbes dated January 2007. Here are some quotes from it:
• The Midas List reflects the glaring underrepresentation of women in the venture capital industry at large. In 2000, the last year for which data is available, women made up only 9% of venture capitalists.
• Indeed, in the first half of 2006, only 4% of VC-backed companies had women chief executives, and those companies with women at the top received just 3% of the total dollar amount raised, according to VC research firm VentureOne, in San Francisco.
• Anecdotal evidence suggests that women investors are providing invaluable insight to entrepreneurs and fledgling companies–the kind of perspective that often eludes men.
• “It’s definitely a boys’ club, and they don’t expect a lot of female entrepreneurs to be coming through….Women haven’t really had advocates in VC to help push against the glass ceiling.”
• Another barrier: Many tech investors have advanced degrees in engineering, but few women do.
• But the industry looks poised for remarkable change, according to VCs like LaPorte. She theorizes that since women entered the business ranks just within the last few decades, sizeable numbers have risen to the top only recently. As a result, more women will go into venture in the coming years.
Okay, the above article was written two years ago. I don’t see any sign that “the coming years” have started coming. In fact, this article from just three months ago claims that the percentage of female VCs is now 7%, down 2% if these statistics are indeed accurate.
Note that none of this takes into account the practical consequences this female dearth has on the Web. I say the loss of “the kind of perspective that often eludes men” has been a huge drag on the Web’s ability to monetize. As I keep saying, and as techies and VCs keep ignoring, it takes understanding human motivation to be able to monetize human activity.
Imagine if even 25% of VCs were women. How would the Web be different? It’s interesting, and sad, to speculate.