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Independent Venture Capital, Gender Disparity, Partners, Directors
Female partners and directors are underrepresented in the U.S. venture capital industry. Approximately 10% of independent venture capitalists are female. This gender disparity can have a negative affect on entrepreneurism and economic activity. The result of having few women partners and directors in venture capital is male entrepreneurs often do not market and or produce products sensitive to female needs in the marketplace. The gender disparity is caused in part by limited mentoring opportunities, few female role models, lack of executive management experience, and female exclusion from primary niche networks. Two gaps in literature are addressed in this paper. First, an exploration of the factors contributing to gender disparity among directors and partners at independent venture capital firms in the United States. Second, this paper contributes to the dearth of the underexplored phenomenon. The research question guiding this study was what are the factors for the gender disparity among directors and partners at independent venture capital firms in the United States. This paper provides IVC directors and managers with the four factors contributing to the underrepresentation of females in venture capital. This paper also provides implications of not having greater female participation, and recommendations to hire qualified female partners and directors at independent venture capital firms in the United States.