Venture capital is a man's world

89% of employees who deal with venture-capital fund investments are men, only 11% are women.

By BATYA FELDMAN/GLOBES
December 7, 2011 23:24
2 minute read.
Tel Aviv brokers

Tel Aviv brokers. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The US National Venture Capital Association, in cooperation with Dow Jones VentureSource, has published a comprehensive report about venture capitalists, focusing on origin and gender. The study analyzed 600 venture capitalists both as investors and in administration.

The results are not at all surprising. As in many other fields in the US that involve money, only white men sit at the top. And indeed, the report found that 89 percent of employees who deal with investments in venture-capital funds are men, and only 11% are women.

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The report also analyzed support-level positions. One step down from the top there is a little bit more ethnic and gender diversity: 79% of finance, marketing and public-relations managers are men, 87% of whom are white and under 30.

US venture-capital firms might not let women touch the big money, but they are happy to decorate their offices with them. Sixty-two percent of the administrative staff of VC firms are women. Women investors appear more prominently in life sciences (15%), clean-tech (18%) and IT (12%).

Another statistic that appears in the report shows that 95% of people who work in the industry are US citizens, 2% are Canadian, 1% are Asian and 1% are European. Venture capitalists confirm that they work 60 hours a week, and 44% of them are married.

The report shows that 85% of venture capitalists in the US are members of LinkedIn, 62% also have a Facebook account and 33% have Twitter accounts.

Similar research has not been conducted in Israel, but even a quick glance at the Israeli VC industry is enough to see that the overwhelming majority of managers are white Ashkenazi males between 45 and 60. Erel Margalit, Ze’ev Holzman, Yossi Sela, Avi Zeevi and Erez Shahar are just a few of the names on this very long list.

Women are not very well-represented; Ruti Alon and Rona Segev-Gal of Pitango and Hadar Ron of IHVC are the sole female representatives in the Israeli VC industry.

Other groups are also not represented; not even one Arab is employed in Israeli VC firms.

Shlomo Kalish is an exception. He is the only haredi Israeli venture capitalist, although he has slowed down in the last few years. Kalish is also a member of a large group of former pilots who manage funds, including Chemi Peres and Aaron Mankovski.


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