Line of Inquiry: Waverly Deutsch on what VCs can learn from the NFL

How VCs can help close the investment gender gap and improve their returns at the same time

Mar 22, 2018

Women make up half the US's population and account for more than a third of all privately owned businesses, but 90 percent of all venture capital goes to all-male-led teams of entrepreneurs. One explanation could be that venture capital is a male-dominated industry: about 83 percent of investment professionals are men. Another cause could be that both male and female investors view women entrepreneurs differently from men—asking them different questions, describing them differently to investment partners. Chicago Booth's Waverly Deutsch suggests that to help correct the imbalance, venture-capital firms should institute their own version of the NFL's Rooney Rule, which mandates that teams must interview at least one minority candidate for head-coaching vacancies. By interviewing more female entrepreneurs—and putting women on their investment teams to help coach them—VCs can help close the investment gender gap and improve their returns at the same time.