The Future is Female Fund Managers

…and this should not come as a surprise.

The future is also equitable fund managers, but let’s start here.

Here are the facts:

  • Female-managed US funds outperform all-male-managed funds (this, given that a mere 14 of the 496 funds counted in this Financial Times article were all-female, vs 380 that were all-male).
  • Despite this, a recent article from Bloomberg shared that it will take two centuries(!!) for female fund managers to achieve equal status to their male counterparts, given the current rate of promotion.
  • Only 5.6% of U.S. VC firms are women-led
  • In 2019, AllRaise shared that the majority of VC firms (65%) didn’t have a single female partner or GP.

Oh yes, Moira... I’m serious… and this is a serious problem.

This also doesn’t include the fact that women of color and BIPOC investors in general are severely lacking in representation, let alone positions of power in venture. I fear that the amount of people working to tackle the lack of diversity in venture capital are still far outnumbered by the amount of people actively choosing to ignore it.

Having a female partner, or a partner of color, is a step in the right direction… but a very small step. For the industry as a whole, it points to a lack of valuable and diverse perspectives that have, and will continue to cause, missed opportunities and a homogenous venture and founder landscape.

So, what can be done about this in the near future?

More Women Starting Funds = More Female Fund Managers

The future is female fund managers. Unless we want to wait 200 years (spoiler: we/I don’t!) the main way to combat this is for more women to start their own funds. This is not an easy road (for anyone), but the facts are there. Women-managed funds outperform those of their male counterparts. More women investors historically leads to more women investing in female founders. LPs in disagreement with this are missing crucial investment opportunities (and, you know, basic facts.) The door is open.

Invest in Women

This is said a lot, and seems to be a widely-known fact (well, I guess if you believe in facts. See above.) It’s a bad business decision at this point to not invest in women-led companies. They are largely underfunded. They outperform. As Halogen Ventures’ Jesse Draper recently stated, they are not a fucking charity; they are a $3T+ opportunity. Your move, investors.

Examine your Unconscious (and Conscious) Biases

We all have them. Systemic racial and gender bias exists and continues to leave companies and founders unfunded, and lucrative business deals off the table. This is part of the reason why venture funding for female founders hit an all-time low this past quarter. As Women in VC recently shared, “The venture community must do the work, now, to address the challenges attached to unconscious beliefs, attitudes, and stereotypes.” Until we acknowledge and work to understand and challenge our biases, they will prevail.

Build a New Table.

An anti-racist, inclusive table. It’s time to seriously look at pattern matching and warm intros in deal sourcing, and work towards a world where those making investment decisions represent the diversity of founders and potential customers. As mentioned in the above Pitchbook article, “in the face of uncertainty, many VCs have stayed closer to their networks. This has closed them off to outsiders, affecting the women and minorities trying to break into their circle.” Until we create our own circles, there will always be missed opportunities.

I’m not willing to wait that long.

Look, I have some self awareness. I’m not a 20-year veteran of the venture industry. I’m not a former operator. I’m not a person of color. I am a woman and a second-generation American. I am passionate about building a more equitable future of venture capital. I am passionate about how that future will be co-created… with investors, founders, and creators working together. Startups and entertainment can and should be invested in… side by side (and I’m not the only one who thinks so anymore.)

I have spent years following what is happening in the industry, and I’ve seen and learned enough to understand that it can transform lives, but it is severely flawed. As I work to build CoCreated Ventures in the coming months, I hope to begin to move the needle. If you are reading this, I hope you are working to do the same. Much like democracy, change only occurs if we ALL participate and work for it.

[p.s. If you know me at all, you know I love some swag. Who doesn’t love a good graphic tee? Snag one of these shirts by November 3, and enjoy free shipping while 50% of proceeds go to She Should Run. Yay democracy!]

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Love all things Theater & VC. BMI Lyricist. Inappropriate moment laugher. Alum #UBuffalo #NYUStern. She/her. cindy.sideris@gmail.com CocreatedVentures.com

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Cindy Sideris

Cindy Sideris

Love all things Theater & VC. BMI Lyricist. Inappropriate moment laugher. Alum #UBuffalo #NYUStern. She/her. cindy.sideris@gmail.com CocreatedVentures.com

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