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“Tasks for interns” – the women are running away from investors

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“Tasks for interns” – the women are running away from investors

According to a media report, female investors are currently leaving their employers in droves. There is frustration about pay and tasks. The problems are probably home-made.

Female investors continue to struggle with acceptance problems. Getty Images

It is well known that venture capital firms are not very diverse. In 2020, Gründerszene showed in an extensive analysis how male-dominated the scene is. Not only do VCs predominantly invest in startups run by men, female principals, associates or partners within the team – as the job positions are complained about – are also a rarity.

A report from the tech portal Sifted According to reports, inequality has recently become even worse. Since the beginning of the year, more than a dozen female employees of European VCs have left their employers, writes the portal and speaks of a “worrying trend”. (As of: August 2023)

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Sifted cites the departure of Annalize Dragic as an example: The 29-year-old from the investment house Sapphire Ventures was only promoted to partner at the end of 2021, but is reportedly expected to leave the company again shortly. Investors in other well-known VCs are also about to jump ship. In total, Sifted refers to 13 people known by name.

“Tasks that interns usually do.”

The portal cites the fact that many VC funds have scaled back their activities due to the poor market environment. At the core, however, dissatisfaction with the male-dominated scene seems to predominate. Many women are frustrated. “There is a kind of glass ceiling and the way women’s performance is measured and compensated is different from that of their male colleagues,” Sifted quoted one of the departing investors as saying.

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To this end, female investors are often employed by VC funds to look for promising female founders. Finding these is difficult in itself, and if so, investments fail because of a multitude of hurdles. On top of that, female VCs have to struggle with acceptance problems: One investor told Sifted that she was often ignored in meetings by male founders. She was also given tasks that would otherwise be carried out by interns. And: Visitors to the office regularly mistook her for the office manager, the report says.

So it’s hardly surprising that the VC scene is not very attractive for women. According to one recruiter Sifted spoke to, the problems are of their own making. According to him, many VCs hired significantly more staff than necessary before the start of the corona pandemic. Many people joined the scene without there being any concrete discussions about expectations and target agreements. The receipt is now increased cancellations.

It is still unclear what will happen next for many of the investors mentioned. Some, writes Sifted, would soon like to start their own VC fund. This is actually a trend too.

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This article first appeared in August 2023 and was particularly popular with readers.

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