These surprising stats show the shocking lack of women in UK venture capital

Lynsey Barber
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Women are harder to find at the top level of venture capital firms (Source: Getty)

Just 13 per cent of the most powerful people in venture capital are female according to new figures which reveal a shocking lack of women at the top level of tech investment.

Two thirds of nearly VC firms in the UK - which collectively invested nearly $5bn into startups last year - have not a single woman decision maker at partner level or equivalent.

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Nearly half of firms have no women across their entire investment team and only 18 per cent of investors at firms are female the research from the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA), Diversity VC and found.

“This report should be a wake-up call for the venture capital industry in the UK," said Travis Winstanley, games investment director at Catalis Group and co-founder of Diversity VC, a newly formed group hoping to conquer the unconscious bias brought my majority male investment.

"Women are significantly under-represented, and it is integral that the industry comes together to make a significant change," he said.

"In no small part, venture capitalists are funding the future. Looking at ten of the world's most valuable companies, six were fuelled by venture capital funding in their early years, so it is clear that the decisions that VCs impact the society in which we live," he said, adding that the group's goal is to get women to account for 20 per cent of decision makers in VC by 2020.

Read more: The ex-boss of Just Eat is joining a venture capital firm

Renowned entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox said she hoped the figures would be "a call to action" for the industry.

Sapphire Ventures managing director Beezer Clarkson said broader perspectives at the VC table were "beneficial to deal sourcing, investment decision making and ultimately to the startups themselves".

The UK fared slightly better than the US, however, where Silicon Valley is often accused of having a "bro" culture. Even fewer women - 11 per cent - were found at the top level of venture capital across the pond.

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