Gender Smart | October 24, 2017

Venture capital starts to woman up

The team at


Barely one in 10 decision-makers in the venture capital world are women. The VCs “are starting to understand that that is not working for the majority of people,” Ellen Pao of Kapor Capital’s Center for Social Impact, told NPR. #Signals of the turning tide:

  • Fuel Capital has brought on Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, as its new general partner, tasked with leading the four-year-old firm’s next phase of growth;
  • General Catalyst Partners has hired Holly Maloney McConnell from Guidepost Growth Equity — the first woman among its nine managing directors;
  • Khosla Ventures has recruited Kristina Simmons, who has worked for Lululemon Athletica, Juicero, and Andreessen Horowitz, as founder Vinod Khosla’s chief of staff. Kanu Gulati from Intel has joined as a principal.
  • NextView Ventures added Melody Koh, the former product head at Blue Apron, as a venture partner in its New York office.
  • The Helm, a venture firm run by women, and Chloe Capital, were started specifically to invest in women entrepreneurs.

Erin Shipley, a co-founder of The Helm, used to work for the Weinstein Company, whose founder Harvey Weinstein was fired over sexual-harassment charges. Initiatives like the Helm “can create better, stronger, safer cultures for women everywhere,” Shipley says.