Supporting balance…aka women

imgres-1In the last few years more than a handful of male VC’s have told me that they are looking for a female partner and wondered if I knew of anyone who would be interested.  I have called out firms to be supportive and also amplify the fact that they have invested in women.

I am now hearing from LP’s (limited partners) that they are starting to think about the diversity of the funds that they are investing in.  Karin Klein, at Bloomberg, is on a mission to have LP’s invest in companies where there is diversity on the investment team.  She wrote a piece about it here.  Lindel Eakman at the Foundry Group is doing the same.  He is putting money into funds where women are part of the investment team.  It is refreshing to hear.

As always change has to come from outside.  If more LP’s are only going to give money to funds that have at least one woman on the investment team then we would see a shift.  If shareholders of publicly traded companies said that they would only invest in companies that have women on the board then we would see a shift.  If VC’s made a commitment to make sure that their portfolio have a certain % of women-led and minority-led companies then we would see a shift.

I do believe these changes are starting to take place organically perhaps because of the environment or perhaps because women and minorities are rising to the top as entrepreneurs and investors and in time we all hope that it isn’t something that we even have to think about.  Yet right now we still do and my hat goes off to Karin and Lindel to showing leadership with their dollars which in turn will create change.  In the end the returns will be that there is proof in that pudding.  Bravo!