Gender Effects in Venture Capital

49 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2014

See all articles by Paul A. Gompers

Paul A. Gompers

Harvard Business School - Finance Unit; Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Vladimir Mukharlyamov

Georgetown University - McDonough School of Business

Emily Weisburst

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Luskin School of Public Affairs; University of Texas at Austin

Yuhai Xuan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Finance

Date Written: May 12, 2014

Abstract

We explore gender differences in performance in a comprehensive sample of venture capital investments in the United States. We find that female venture capitalists significantly underperform their male colleagues controlling for personal characteristics including employment and educational history as well as the characteristics of the portfolio companies in which they invest. When we examine their performance differences, we find that the difference results from a lack of contribution by the male colleagues within their firms. We explore the mechanism for this lack of contribution from male colleagues in a large sample survey of female venture capitalists and in detailed one-on-one interviews. We find support for the notion that formal feedback mechanisms and hierarchies are useful in ameliorating the female performance gap. Female venture capitalists find gender bias in informal mentoring systems as well as in the attitude of entrepreneurs.

Suggested Citation

Gompers, Paul A. and Mukharlyamov, Vladimir and Weisburst, Emily and Xuan, Yuhai, Gender Effects in Venture Capital (May 12, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2445497 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2445497

Paul A. Gompers (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School - Finance Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6297 (Phone)
617-496-8443 (Fax)

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Vladimir Mukharlyamov

Georgetown University - McDonough School of Business ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

HOME PAGE: http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/vm462/

Emily Weisburst

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Luskin School of Public Affairs ( email )

3250 Public Affairs Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656
United States

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

2317 Speedway
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Yuhai Xuan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Finance ( email )

1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.illinois.edu/yhxuan/

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