By Nomzana A. Augustin
(Admissions & Diversity Lead)
While it has been a challenging time for individuals around the world in the VC industry, and across markets, GoingVC remains proud to welcome its 6th cohort, who began their session in early April!
Our team has gone above and beyond to source, recruit, and select the next wave of top investment professionals. Our candidates came from many different sectors, with experience as consultants, pre/current/post-MBAs, founders, startup operators, and aspiring GPs. We’re also proud to say our candidates came from many different social and cultural backgrounds. With this in mind, we’re excited to share some of the program highlights and outcomes of the first phase of our diversity strategy.
Gender: Growing Female Representation
According to a survey completed by Deloitte and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), women’s representation in VC investment roles (slightly) increased by 250 women over a two-year period. As seen in Figure 1, in 2018, the survey showed that 21% of investment roles were held by women as compared to only 15% in 2016.
Assuming that all members of Cohort 6 secure a VC investment role in the next 1-2 years, GVC’s Cohort 6 female representation of 30% exceeds the 21% national average of women who are in investment roles, as seen in Figure 2.
The 2018 Deloitte-NVCA’s national averages also show that 14% of investment partner roles were held by women – a smaller portion than the overall workforce represented by women. Holding the assumption that Cohort 6’s 30% of women will secure a VC role, it is also more likely that some of these women will eventually become partners at firms with the lifelong membership and support system GoingVC provides.
GoingVC women do not only gain easier access to VC jobs through our network, but they also have the ability to develop peer-level contacts that they can lean on while gaining ongoing support from the larger VC community of professionals who can endorse their industry outputs and successes. As Heather Gates, the managing director of emerging growth practice at Deloitte & Touche, told CFO Magazine: “Studies have shown that hiring more female investment professionals is correlated to enhanced returns, better recruiting, and talent retention, as well as more profitable exits and overall improved financial health for funds.” Cohort 6 alone saw a 14% increase in women from our last cohort, demonstrating GVC’s intention to make VC accessible while training and developing the best talent.
VC, unfortunately, remains ethnically imbalanced with White and Asian ethnicities – and specifically White and Asian men – predominating industry representation. Similarly, as shown in Figure 3, GVC’s Cohort 6 is represented by 40% White, 36% Asian, 11% Black, 9% Latinx, and 4% Other or individuals who preferred not to disclose.
In attempts at making the industry more accessible to underrepresented ethnicities, GoingVC rolled out the first formal phase of its diversity strategy that included a more inclusive admissions rubric as well as scholarship disbursements to underrepresented ethnicities. As previously seen in Figure 2, the Deloitte-NVCA survey depicts a national average of 3-5% Black and Latinx investment professionals in the industry, while GVC C6’s Black or Latinx members were between 9-11% (again, assuming that all of these members secure a VC role in 1-2 years).
Cohort 6 demonstrates consistency in remaining above national averages where C6 did not only see an increase in women, but 20% of Cohort 6’s representation comprises Black and Latinx members, as shown in Figure 3. When selecting these candidates, GoingVC not only considered top MBAs, but individuals who had a track record of strong leadership and business practice in their respective communities, in strategic roles at top companies, and/or through the successes of their own startups; maintaining the high-quality talent standards typically seen in VC.
Further, because GoingVC is a remote professional development program, it affords us the opportunity to reach regions globally.
We’re proud to say that while 87% of GoingVC’s Cohort 6 is based in the US, it also includes members based in Asia, Australia, Canada, Portugal, and the UK. And while still a smaller portion of our cohort, this geographic diversity has afforded our members the opportunity to understand off-shore markets and hear about trends in other regions that have the potential to be replicable and adaptable.
Professional Background and Previous Experience
GoingVC’s Cohort 6 members come from a diverse array of professional backgrounds, seizing opportunities to learn, but also adding significant value to their peers and the larger GoingVC community.
Our C6 members range from undergraduate seniors to post-MBAs from schools like Wharton, Columbia Business School, NYU, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt, University of Michigan and more. Several have noted their upcoming enrollments at top business schools while others have expressed their interest in pursuing an MBA to strengthen their VC career paths.
Professional Experience and Skill Set
C6 members also come from consulting firms like Deloitte, McKinsey, and LEK Consulting; investment firms like BlackRock, Citi Ventures, and FHI Ventures; corporations like WeWork, Uber, and Bank of America; and, some, from their own startups. The average experience level is at the associate to mid-career level while a few are senior and experienced leaders with an interest in becoming GPs and setting up their own funds.
Finally, C6 members are interested in a range of fields, including AI/ML, blockchain, cleantech, consumer, e-sports, fintech, foodtech, healthcare, impact investing, and more. Our members seek to cover a range of geographic regions too – from the US to Asia, Africa, Latin America and others.
In Figure 4, we see the key components that catalyze investment firms to operate at an optimal level when leveraging their human capital. Not only should firms be strategic about their hiring processes to recruit the best talent they should also incorporate diversity strategies to retain top professionals for long-term results. GoingVC members are not only representative of the top talent venture capital can tap into, they also represent the future markets being built – economic and inclusive.
With a month into the program, our Cohort 6 members are diligently working on their first few assignments, getting to know each other, and engaging with the guest lecturers. Renato Merino, for example, is a Hispanic woman proud to partner with Adrian Maloy, joining BlackRock this summer, on their investment thesis, noting their team as “The Dream Team”.
GoingVC is a professional development program and global community helping its members advance their careers in Venture Capital. GoingVC brings together experts in venture capital, entrepreneurship, and business and fosters a collaborative environment where future leaders of the industry can learn and build on the essential skills they’ll need for success in the field. Subscribe here.