Women VCs have the edge to transform the world with more balanced funding
The Venture Capital industry creates a thriving ground for the establishment and growth of innovative and strategic businesses. Not only does a venture capitalist play a significant role in building the economy of acountry, but they also provide monetary resources and guidance for ideas to bloom into a viable business culture. In light of the growing prominence of venture capitalism, it is essential to talk about inclusion, diversity and the culture of the industry. Put more bluntly, the continued under-representation of women in the VC space is one of its biggest challenges.
Across the world, women are disproportionally represented in the venture capital space.According to recent research, only three of the top 20 venture capital firms in India have a single woman partner while the remaining 17 have none. The average percentage of a woman operating from a senior position in the venture capital and private equity sector is seven in India. Apart from pre-existing prejudices that make it difficult for women to find entry as venture capitalists, there are a host of factors that deter women from considering the space as a viable career option. One key factor is the lack of access to the right education that some women face, as well as a smaller pool of women role models to provide first-hand mentorship withintheindustry. Although experts recommend diversity as a guiding postulate in developing a profitable VC investment portfolio, it is a perceivable fact that the industry is heavily gender biased. An unfortunate consequence of this is that there is often a restriction of funds being allocated to the best investment opportunities from a socially and gender diverse point of view. In other words, the capital committed to women-founders is directly proportional to the number of women at the table making the funding decisions.
Under-representation of women in the VC industry has a knee-jerk reaction on woman participation in the start-up industry, as social connections often play a role in determining which start-ups get attention. Without a female VC perspective, more often than not, start-ups that target women and women’s issues do not get the right funding. Even if they did, it would be challenging for a male dominated VC to implement the right incubation programs to effectively grow a woman-led start up that targets women’s issues due to lack of adequate perspective. Involving more women in the workplace, in leadership roles and positions of power simply makes business sense as they bring a stronger awareness of the market they represent.
At present, there still remains some ways to go before women are viewed on par with men in terms of their ability to strategize, network and build strong business partnerships. We simply cannot converse about growing a diverse and inclusive world when the investment space is largely missing woman representation.This does not go to say that there is absolutely no awareness of the imbalance in gender representation or efforts to bridge the gap in the VC industry, however increased large-scale and impactful efforts, including from male VC representatives, is the need of the hour. The introduction of more company policies that promote woman exposure to the world of venture capitalism, initiatives and training programs to upskill women, introducing effective operational solutions specific to women’s needs, educational programs that show how the VC world works, workshops, talks, women-centric summits, promoting a business mindset among women are some small ways in which this can be done.Eradicating the bias hampering ventures at an early stage, can help in obtaining a flourishing and balanced scope in the VC industry. We are on the verge of a paradigm shift and the world will soon see an upsurge in the industry booming with women. While the world of venture capital seems like a lion's den, women entrepreneurs are the lionesses. They are taking the world by storm through their roar, exhibiting the utmost skills and drive to achieve their goals.As we have seen evidence time and time again, bound to shine, women in VC will thriv