By Tracy Isacke (@tracyisacke) Director of Investments & Business Development, Telefonica Digital
A few weeks ago, I participated in a USA Today Women in Technology roundtable that focused on venture capitalists and the gender issues that affect women in the venture capital world.
Hosted at the fantastic Facebook campus, it brought together a panel of industry luminaries including Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO; Stacy Brown-Philpot of Google Ventures; Stacey Bishop, Scale Venture Partners; Aileen Lee, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Christine Tsai, 500 Startups amongst others.
For me, the panel brought to light an issue that is all too familiar for women venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and around the globe – the difficulties of breaking into a male-dominated profession and culture.
In a follow-up article about the event a few days ago (4 Nov), Jon Swartz from USA Today reported on statistics from The Next Women that said, “Though women make up half the U.S. population and represent 46% of the workforce, they are woefully under represented in the investment community. Just 11% are partners at venture capital firms, and 15% are angel investors.”
The roundtable brought these issues to life as us panelists – from a variety of different venture capital companies and firms – discussed how the industry is changing, and how women are making their mark in the venture capital community. I feel there has been a shift in community and that this is really a 20 to 30 year process.
All-in-all, the panel session was both exciting and insightful and I applaud USA Today and Facebook for hosting it.
The following women gathered together at Facebook headquarters to participate: Gina Bianchini, Mightybell; Stacey Bishop, Scale Venture Partners; Merav Bloch, Square Peg Ventures; Stacy Brown-Philpot, Google Ventures; Kathy Chan, 137 Ventures; Renee DiResta, OATV; Tracy Isacke, Telefónica Digital; Aileen Lee, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Ann Miura-Ko, Floodgate; Patricia Nakache, Trinity Ventures; Stephanie Palmeri, SoftTech; Cynthia Ringo, DBL Investors; Sara Tillim, Facebook; Christine Tsai, 500 Startups; Laurie Yoler, GrowthPoint Technology Partners.