We all know the stats. Only 2% of venture funding went to female founders in 2017, and just 8% of partners at the top venture capital firms are women. In honor of International Women’s Day, venture firm Alpha Edison wrote a Medium post about “doing something about these statistics through action.”
The post urges male and female investors to take meetings with eight women outside of their networks in the month of March. So far, 29 firms, including Canaan Partners, 8VC, and Flybridge Capital Partners, have signed the pledge to do so. People have also started using the hashtag #StartWithEight to highlight female founders and investors in the industry.
Why is this important? According to data provided by Pitchbook, many of the top firms that invest in female-founded companies tend to have women in senior-level roles themselves. In recent months, several all-male partnerships have brought in a female partner for the first time in their history, including Rebecca Kaden at Union Square Ventures, Hayley Barna at First Round Capital, and Nimi Katragadda at BoxGroup.
TermSheet has interviewed some of the top dealmakers in venture capital over the last several months. Here’s what the female VCs had to say when asked how venture capital can close its funding gender gap.
1.Patricia Nakache, general partner at Trinity Ventures
2.Susan Lyne, president and founding partner of BBG Ventures
3.Kirsten Green, founder and general partner of Forerunner Ventures
4.Kimmy Scotti, founding partner at 8VC
5.Arlan Hamilton, founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital
6.Ann Miura-Ko, co-founding partner at Floodgate
7. Cindy Whitehead, CEO of the Pink Ceiling