One year ago, Fortune published research showing that just 4.2% of decision-makers at venture capital firms were female. It was a distressing finding, although not terribly surprising to anyone who has spent time in the industry’s khaki-covered corridors.
This week we decided to update and expand on our data, in order to see how things have, or haven’t, changed. The past 12 months has seen a lot of hand-wringing over the dearth of female investors, including by Newsweek in its controversial new cover story on sexism in Silicon Valley. But did any of it have an impact?
In short, no.
Last year’s report focused on “decision-makers” at U.S.-based venture capital firms that had raised at least one fund of $200 million or more, dating back to 2009. We basically researched the number of female senior partners at each firm (primarily utilizing firm websites and SEC filings) or, when the terminology differed, the most senior “layer” of investment professionals (sometimes that was “general partner” or “managing partner” or “partner,” etc.). It found 542 such decision-makers, but only 23 of them were female (4.2%).
That exact same sample of VC firms currently has 546 decision-makers, of which 24 are female. In other words, these 92 firms — which managed over $60 billion — had added only one female senior partner in the past year, despite all of the media attention (read: shaming) and discussion at industry conferences.
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