When it comes to gender diversity, venture capital continues to struggle. It's not uncommon for top firms to employ no female investors, which isn't surprising given that 89 percent of investors are men, according to a 2011 survey by the National Venture Capital Association and Dow Jones VentureSource. Earlier this summer Erica Swallow, an MBA student at MIT's Sloane School of Management, crystallized this discouraging statistic in a blog post, which detailed her experience as a summer intern at General Catalyst Partners. "Women — beyond the high-heel-studded secretaries and assistants — don’t exist in venture capital," she wrote.
But it's not that bleak: Today, Oak Investment Partners announced the launch of Oak HC/FT, a healthcare and financial-tech investment firm that closed a $500 million fund earlier this summer. The fund is part of Oak Investment Partner's strategy to develop sector-specific funds, the firm said in a statement.
More interestingly, out of the three general partners at the firm, two are women.
As Fortune notes, this makes Oak HC/FT's first funding round the largest to ever be raised by a primarily female firm.
“Global technology innovations, cost pressures and regulatory changes are creating unprecedented opportunities in the Healthcare and FinTech sectors," Ann Lamont, the firm's managing partner, said in a statement. "We are excited to further this transformational growth and build on our significant investment legacy."
Lamont has been an exception to the rule that the VC world is an all-male club. A well-respected investor, she has been with Oak since 1982, and has been a general partner there since 1986. Partner Patricia Kemp is also a longtime Oak hand, joining in 2002 after executive positions at Cendant. Lamont and Kemp are managing the fund with Andrew Adams, who joined Oak in 2003 and became a general partner in 2010.