DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION IN THE VC INDUSTRY
View results from the VC Human Capital Survey
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important to the competitiveness of the U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem. 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 important in the advancement of innovation and the venture capital industry.
The VC Human Capital Survey, powered by NVCA, Venture Forward, and Deloitte was designed to capture important data on the workforce at venture capital (VC) firms, and develop an understanding of demographics within the VC industry. The survey is intended to be an educational resource for venture capital firms to help understand how they may expand the diversity of their teams and portfolio. We collected data from over 375 US firms representing nearly 5,000 employees in the 2020 study.
This dashboard provides those results and allows you to explore:
- Who works in the VC industry based on the firms surveyed
- Whether gender, ethnic, or age groups have reported differing experiences
- What firms may be doing to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion
This dashboard also offers a comparison of the latest data (collected in 2020) to the previous surveys conducted in 2018 and 2016 to show a longitudinal analysis of the industry's progress.
Continue scrolling or use the navigation tabs on the left to begin exploring. Read the Survey FAQs page 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 375 firms participated in the 2020 study, providing information regarding nearly 5,000 employees. Summarized below is information regarding the firms that participated in the latest survey and comparisons to the 2016 and 2018 surveys.
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.
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.
The next generation of VC leaders
Younger employees, including millennials represent an increasing percentage of the workforce.
Use the filters to explore their representation in investment and partner positions across the industry.
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, equity & inclusion
Based on firm talent management practices, what works when it comes to driving DEI?
Use our predictive tool to learn more.
Select firm characteristics and see how representation changes.
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 DEI?
- How was the 2020 study conducted?
An email was distributed to 1,805 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 workbook. Each firm had a representative, such as their CFO, GC, or HR manager, complete the survey, providing information for each and every employee. 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. In 2018, it was distributed to 1,428 active VC firms. Data was collected in the same manner both times.
- When was the survey distributed?
- The third edition of the survey was open from August 18, 2020 to September 25, 2020.
- What information did the survey ask for?
- 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, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs
- Is the data collected a representative sample of the VC workforce?
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 4.3% for questions answered by all 378 firms and 1.2% for questions answered about all 4.991 employees.
The research team sought the same confidence level in 2016 and 2018.
- How did the research team combine the data sources?
- After combining the raw data sets from both the web-based surveys and the workbooks, the team reviewed the data file for duplicate entries and removed any duplicates. If a firm completed both the web-based survey and the workbook, the research team used the most recent and most complete entry.
- Are there gaps in the data collected?
- 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.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee ("DTTL"), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as "Deloitte Global") does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the "Deloitte" name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more about our global network of member firms.