Oh so many reasons. We're actually looking to add someone to the Cowboy team -- and because we are majority female, and two of us are Chinese females from New Jersey with similar post-college careers, in our discussion yesterday our team agreed we should make sure to be look for and interview lots of candidates who are different from us and have different profiles, different personality types. We care most about whether someone will be a magnet for great founders, an outstanding investor over time, and will be fun to work with.
Unfortunately, I don't think that's a conversation or a commitment enough venture teams have. Likely because many firms have done well historically with a homogeneous team, so there isn't a sense that adding new people would make things better. It would also cause a change in internal culture/conversation, and many partners like the way things are.
Lots of studies have shown that more diverse teams have better creativity, better outcomes, better financial results -- but there is not enough diversity by ethnicity, gender, or personality type in venture capital. And just in the past 2 months a number of firms have issued press releases saying, "We're thrilled to announce our newest partner ... another Caucasian male." With all due respect, it's frustrating to see these few open slots continue to go to people who are so similar to the people already there.
Entrepreneurs have a tremendous amount of influence now by choosing which investors they work with, and calling on a diverse group of potential investors when they raise a round. Hoping founders will vote with their feet by showing the VC world they want to work with modern, diverse teams -- that might be the best way to impact the VC ranks in the short term.
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