View results from the Human Capital Survey

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Study purpose

Great teams are critical to the competitiveness of the US startup ecosystem, and team diversity and inclusion are key components of optimizing outcomes for venture capital (VC) firms and startups. Venture capital investors support entrepreneurs by investing capital and resources to build the next-generation of innovative companies. Leveraging the potential of a diversity of investors and entrepreneurs is key to the advancement of innovation.

The second edition of the NVCA-Deloitte Human Capital Survey was designed to capture critical data on the workforce at VC firms and benchmark against the findings from the 2016 survey, as well as better understand the latest demographics within the VC industry. This dashboard does more than report survey results. The survey is intended to be an educational resource for VC firms to understand how to expand the diversity of their teams and portfolio. We collected data from over 200 US firms representing over 2,700 employees.

This dashboard provides those results and allows you to explore:

  • Who works in the VC industry
  • Whether gender, racial/ethnic, or age groups have differing experiences
  • What firms are doing to enhance diversity and inclusion
  • How these findings compare to the benchmark from the inaugural study

Use the navigation buttons to the left to begin exploring. Read the survey FAQs to learn more about who was surveyed and how the study was conducted.

More information about how to interpret this data:

As you apply filters, the number in the sample you are looking at will include only those filters selected. For example, if you select “West” for region and “Asian” for Race/Ethnicity, you will only see data for those employees located in the West who are Asian. The 4% Female Investment Partner or Equivalent means that of Investment Partners or Equivalent located in the West, who are also Asian, 4% are female. For additional questions or media inquiries, contact nvcahumancapitalsurvey@deloitte.com.

Respondent demographics

Over 200 firms participated in the study, providing information regarding over 2,700 employees. Below find information regarding the firms that participated.

firm region graph
Firm Region
Firm Size
Firm Age
Corporate VC

Looking at women in leadership

Women make up nearly half of the VC workforce. Use this page to explore their representation in investment and partner positions across the industry.

Use the filters to explore the percentage of women at various levels in the VC industry.

Overall workforce
All Investment Professionals
Investment Partner or equivalent

Exploring race/ethnicity in leadership

Racial/ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the VC industry. Use this page to explore their representation in investment and partner positions across the industry.

Use the filters to explore the percentage of racial minorities at various levels in the VC industry.

Overall workforce
All Investment Professionals
Investment Partner or equivalent
The 2018 survey asked two questions on race and ethnicity: one question on race that allowed multiple responses and a separate question on ethnicity (i.e., Hispanic or not Hispanic). Note: Hispanic individuals can be of any race. The 2016 survey asked a single question covering both race and ethnicity, which only allowed a single response. For this reason, the results on race and ethnicity in the 2018 and 2016 surveys are not directly comparable.

The next generation of VC leaders

Millennials are increasingly organizational decision- and change-makers.

Use the filters to explore their representation in investment and partner positions across the industry.

Overall workforce
All Investment Professionals
Investment Partner or equivalent
The dashboard results by age are based on employees 22 years of age or older.

The engine that powers VC firms

Most research on the VC industry has only looked at investment professionals. We looked at the composition of the entire workforce, including support positions that are critical to firms' success.

Use the filters to explore the demographic breakdown in various functions in the VC industry.


Driving diversity and inclusion (D&I)

Based on firm talent management practices, what works when it comes to driving D&I? Use our predictive tool to learn more.

Select firm characteristics and see how representation changes.

The average percentage female across firms

Does your firm have a Human Capital Strategy?

Does your firm have a Diversity Strategy component?

Does your firm have an Inclusion Strategy component?

Does your firm have formal diversity and inclusion programs for:

Does your firm have staff dedicated to D&I?

Inclusion goes beyond representation. Deloitte has defined inclusion as “a process of change or integration, as well as an outcome, such as a feeling of belonging. In essence, when organizations or individuals adapt their practices or behaviors to respond to people, then people feel included.” The dashboard results by gender in the Talent section are based on the percentage of female employees by firm considered individually (and similarly for the percentage of non-White employees). For this reason, they are not comparable with the survey results in the Gender section, which analyzes the percentage of female employees among all employees considered in total.

Survey FAQs

How was the study conducted?accordion arrow
An email was distributed to 1,428 active VC firms, including NVCA members, asking them to participate in the study. Firms had the option to complete the assessment one of two ways: through a web-based survey, or through an identical spreadsheet. Each firm had a representative, such as their CFO, GC, or HR manager, complete the survey, providing information for each and every employee. Individual employees were not contacted to participate individually.

For the first edition of the survey conducted in 2016, an email was distributed to 1,336 VC firms that were active at that time, and data was collected in the same manner.
When was the survey distributed?accordion arrow
The second edition of the survey was open from October 16, 2018 to December 15, 2018.

The first edition of the survey was open from July 20, 2016 to August 23, 2016.
What information did the survey ask for?accordion arrow
The survey requested firm demographic information (e.g., investment stage focus) and demographic information for each employee (e.g., gender and race). In addition, the survey asked firms to provide information regarding firm talent management practices and diversity and inclusion programs.
Is the data collected a representative sample of the VC workforce?accordion arrow
Yes, the results are broadly representative of the VC industry. The research team sought a 90% confidence level which correlates to a margin of error of 5.8% for questions answered by all 203 firms and 1.5% for questions answered about all 2,712 employees.

The research team sought the same confidence level in 2016. Data was collected for 217 firms and 2,502 employees.
How did the research team combine the data sources?accordion arrow
After combining the raw data sets from both the web-based surveys and the spreadsheets, the team reviewed the data file for duplicate entries and removed any duplicates. If a firm completed both the web-based survey and the spreadsheet, the research team used the most recent and most complete entry.
Are there gaps in the data collected?accordion arrow
Firms were asked to provide demographic data for all employees. Because employees did not self-report demographic information for this data collection effort, we are limited to the demographic data firms collected which may be incomplete.
If you are interested in learning more about the study, contact nvcahumancapitalsurvey@deloitte.com.
Visit www2.deloitte.com/us/human-capital-survey-2nd-edition to download the full PDF report.
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