Breaking! About 40% of VCs attended either Harvard or Stanford, according to a survey by VC Richard Kerby. In looking at 1,500 investors, Kerby found that the VCs in question earned undergraduate or graduate degrees from at least one of the two schools.
This lack of intellectual diversity isn’t a particularly surprising finding, especially when Kerby’s study indicates that white men still account for about 58% of VCs. Since 2016, when Kerby conducted a similar analysis, there has been an increase in female representation: The percentage of women VCs has increased from 11% to 18%. But it’s primarily white women who have made gains (albeit only by 4%). Kerby found that Asian women make up 6% of VCs, while just 1% are black women; Latinx women have no representation at 0%.
What this means is, as in tech at large, white and Asian men seemingly dominate the industry, with 78% of VCs identifying as one or the other. (That’s down from 86% in 2016). As more women open funds, those numbers are changing—but the paltry diversity in education tells us the makeup of VC is unlikely to change quickly.
Kerby notes that amongst black investors, more than 50% went to Harvard or Stanford—which tells us that even the women and minorities who make it into VC are likely granted entry on the basis of their prestigious degrees.