Entrepreneur

The color of money: Survey sheds light on racial makeup of VC industry

The professional venture capital community is more diverse than ever, but employment is still largely dominated by white men, according to the results of a joint census conducted by the National Venture Capital Association and Dow Jones VentureSource, which was released today.

The greatest ethnic diversity  in the venture capital industry is among those who have less than five years’ experience.

“As the venture capital industry continues to contract and the number of professionals declines over the next five years, we could very well see more dramatic demographic shifts within the industry,” said NVCA President Mark Heesen in a statement. Among newcomers 77 percent are white, 17 percent are Asian, three percent are African American or Latino, and three percent were of mixed race, according to the survey.

First conducted in 2008, the Venture Census looks at the composition of the entire workforce of the venture capital industry, not just the analysts and general partner roles. The number of female venture capital employees who listed themselves investors decreased to 11 percent in 2011 compared to 14 percent in 2008, while women represent 21 percent of total employment, albeit largely in non-investor roles. The industries with the highest representation of female investors were cleantech and life sciences, where women made up 18 percent and 15 percent of investors respectively.

The purpose of the survey was to gather facts and figures about people who make up the venture capital industry, as well as to assess quality of life issues, such as days spent traveling, and hours worked on weekly basis.

The survey also looked at other indicators of diversity in the venture capital industry, such as the background of investors. Fifteen percent of current venture investors were the chief executive officers of venture-backed startups and an additional 14 percent were CEOs of private, non-venture-backed companies.

Businessmen image via ShutterStock


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