Empowering Women in Venture Capital: From Entry Level to Executive Leadership

I believe that at the entry level women need to be bold enough to step up and apply for the roles. The great thing about VC, and especially VC in Africa, is that it is all still new. Our industry is still so young! So there are diverse and varying paths that one can take to break into this business. You don’t need to have a specific pedigree or experience to work in VC. Follow VC investors on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn about work opportunities. Attend events to expand your network. And when the time comes, don’t worry about your CV. Shoot your shot! Your opportunity will come.

At the executive level, we need to be very, very intentional about inserting women into our pipelines. As a decision maker, it is incumbent on me to provide opportunities to other women. I must push my teams to do it. Share opportunities with women. Share deals. Advise and mentor women. Hire them. It’s very interesting how often I get a candidate slate and I have to send it back and ask that women be included. The answer tends to be I don’t know any women that do this work and my answer back is go and find them. They always find them. So women executives must push for inclusion at the pipeline level. Then we can stack up credentials, skills, and bids and hire or retain the best. But if our pipeline is devoid of women from the start, then there is no chance of changing the status quo.

Women executives must be intentional with their pipelines and women at the entry level must put themselves in those pipelines. And we are already witnessing the change that these 2 actions are bringing about. There are so many more women in the industry than there were even 3 years ago. Small change, yes. But all change starts small and unnoticed before it comes in like a tsunami. THE FUTURE OF VC IS FEMALE. 🌍👩🏾‍💻👩🏽‍🔬

By Lydia Idem
March 2023

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