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!

Comments (Archived):

  1. Evan Frank

    Hi Joanne – I’m such a believer in this (women and men) – and started an interview series on the topic, too I’m trying to add as many women leaders as possible (and have a new profile going live this week/end)

    1. Gotham Gal

      i like it!

    2. bsoist


  2. Pranay Srinivasan

    It takes founders to push change too. Im really privileged to be working with amazing women investors as well. And at VC firms its more likely a woman investor will get the human story, the business story *and* the financial story instead of just the numbers.

  3. Brie Magar

    Hi Joanne – I just found your blog. Thank you! As a woman with 2 teen girls, I also hope that very soon women in leadership roles “isn’t something that we even have to think about.” I do wonder, though, if in addition to what you speculate, recent interest comes from the research that shows women in leadership roles brings in more money. A study published in February, 2016 <https:”” publications=”” wp=”” wp16-3.pdf=””> states that “Having women in the highest corporate offices is correlated with increased profitability.” But even if it’s economics that are driving folks to want more women on their teams, I’m all for it as a start to learning the all around benefits of women at the table!

    1. Gotham Gal

      The data is absolutely there…having women on the C teams in companies makes a huge difference.

  4. Lally Rementilla

    A timely post. I just marked 6 months at Quantius where we have 50% women in our team, 60% in the investment committee and 40% on our board. Plus for our first syndicated transaction, more than 50% of the investors were women. Our founder was behind this and HE made it happen!

    1. Gotham Gal

      that is INSANELY impressive. My guess is the culture is positive and productive

  5. lynnerae

    Thanks for writing this, Joanne, and for bringing more visibility to Karin’s post. As a woman founder and managing partner of a VC fund, there are times I have felt the need to step back when in front of LPs/investors, but, recently — and little by little — it is becoming a benefit for me to be seen as fully “on team”. I feel a shift is underway, but we do need more conversation, more accountability, more data to prove this is not just about diversity for the sake of diversity, but because greater success will come through a more inclusive and balanced partnership team that selects investments and mentors its startups. I’m certain the data will prove the positives of this.

    1. Gotham Gal

      It’s good to hear you are seeing a shift too

  6. amyugh

    check out the Ledbetter Gender Equality index to check out the ratings of companies and their C teams…

    1. Gotham Gal

      I saw this. Impressive data they put together.