Dutch group of investors only to invest in companies with female executives
That’s right, an important group of Dutch investors has decided to only invest in companies where at least 35 percent of executives are female. The goal for achieving this is set at three years.
Supporting companies with a more equal gender balance
There are 25 investors involved in this initiative, and together, they manage around 1,1 billion euros. That is a quarter of the total assets managed by Dutch venture investors. The plan to introduce a quota came about after research into the funding of female-run start-ups, by the investors Eva Mol and Janneke Niessen, revealed that investors almost exclusively funded start-ups run by men. In fact, only 1,6 percent of the businesses invested in was under the direction of a woman.
Initiator Alexander Ribbink from Keen Capital Venture states, “We don’t have exact figures on investment in female entrepreneurs yet, but we do know that it is way below 35 percent in our sector”. Ribbink also goes on to say that, “everyone knows that diverse teams are better”, and with this conviction and the fast growth of businesses and recruitment of staff, he believes that the quota will be met.
Companies receiving investment have been asked to report back on their current gender balance. However, no sanctions will be given out to those who do not currently meet the 35 percent target.
Implicit prejudices against women
Prince Constantijn, the Dutch start-up ambassador and one of the initiators of the quota, stressed that people need to be made aware of their implicit prejudices. When it comes to “female entrepreneurs, whether they are competent is often discussed, and whether they can combine running a business with a family. Men are primarily evaluated on their ambition and future plans. That doesn’t help at all.”
The investors involved in the initiative include Inkef Capital, TIIN Capital, Endeit Capital, South Holland’s Innovation Quarter and Liof in Limburg, amongst others. These funds typically invest in technology start-ups.
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