Enriching European venture capital with the female viewpoint brings diversity to the startup ecosystem, opens new investment areas and improves the overall quality of startups. How to make European VC industry more diverse was the subject of discussion during European Women in VC Summit in Berlin.
During the summit, which took place 8-9th of October, in Berlin over 100 senior VC professionals, both male and female met to discuss the importance of the female viewpoint European VC industry. Among speakers were also representants of key players in the European venture capital market such as European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Fund and International Finance Corporation with HQ in US.
Lack of diversity in startup financing is a fact. Last year in the US only, 2% of VC financing for startups went to companies founded by women - and women comprise just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms. In Europe, general statistics are similar, but once you start digging into the numbers, the situation is even worse. Actually, the number of women decision-makers at VC funds (i.e. those who actually write the cheques and have management responsibility) is less than 5%.
The female viewpoint is missing from the VC investment landscape. This means that companies addressing women needs as well as tech companies with female founders find it difficult to fundraise. VC investors are missing investment opportunities and we are missing out as – society as a whole.
It’s the ambition of the European Women in VC Community which we established last year to double the number of women who make investment decisions at VC funds.
Managing Partner at Experior VC, co-founder of European Women in VC initiative
The positive impact of women on companies is supported by facts. McKinsey, in its latest report, "Women Matter", shows the existence of a strong correlation between the presence of women in company top management and better financial results. After analyzing 300 companies around the world, McKinsey found out a difference in return on equity of 47% between the companies with the most women on their executive committees and those with none, and a 55% difference in operating results.
Women inclusion is an important contributor to effectiveness and high-performing. While gender diversity is only one dimension of diversity, it is an important one and this is recognized by progressive business. For me, the most important thing is that diversity in the company is at all levels: from the initial to the highest, in decision-making. This allows you to look at the situation from different sides, to notice risks and avoid them. At the end of the day, professionalism, not a gender is important.
Executive Director of UVCA
European Women in Venture Capital - група понад 350 провідних жінок-професіоналів з VC з більш ніж 20 європейських країн, загальна кількість активів, що перебуває під їх управлінням складає близько 15 мільярдів євро. (Польща, Чехія, Болгарія, Україна, Естонія, Словенія, Угорщина), що за рік функціонування охопила інвесторів уже 15 країн, а амбасадорами є 19 представників з Європи та Ізраїлю.