REPORT: Achieving Superior Returns with Gender Diversity in European Venture Capital Firms 

For the third time European Women in VC, and multiple partners including EIT Urban Mobility have released a study on the European Venture market from gender perspective, shedding light on the profound impact of gender diversity on fund performance within European venture capital (VC) firms. Access to the full report on the Gender diversity in European Venture Capital Firms 

This comprehensive study, conducted together with International Data Cooperation continues the monitoring of gender representation in the European VC industry. Year on year analysis of actual firepower (Assets Under Management – AUM) presents no change in presence of female GPs, since last year only 9% of total AUM. Even though funds with a higher representation of female managers exhibit higher returns, gender gaps are still an issue in European VC firms. A combined desk and research survey of 558 European VC firms and 104 European VC survey respondents showed that in 2023 only 16% of general partners (GPs) are women, compared to 15% in 2022.  This data highlights the need for continued efforts to empower female managers and support them in all processes leading to more efficient fundraising. 

“The findings confirm what we knew, meaning female general partners (GPs) are under-represented in European Venture Capital. Especially the share of assets under management (AUM) is disproportionate, where the overwhelming majority are managed by male GP’s. It is however very encouraging to see that more women in VC’s leads to lower risk and greater returns, and I hope these conclusions will incite the creation of more funds with female GPs. Looking to the future, the report represents a steppingstone where we see positive trends that can help propel us to more unbiased VC investments and ultimately a better opportunity for female entrepreneurs.” Fredrik Hånell, Director of Impact Ventures at EIT Urban Mobility. EIT Urban Mobility has the dedication to narrow the start-up gender gap and foster an inclusive ecosystem. When selecting start-ups to invest in, gender-balance is one of the key objectives. This has led that from the portfolio of 86 start-ups, 44% is female-led. 

This report aims to show that the diversity of investment teams could be beneficial for superior return generation: According to our analysis, mixed-gender investment teams show higher returns on managed funds. The report also shows how gender diversity is much more than just a bullet point on an organization’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) checklist.