According to a 2020 report from the Australian Investment Council, just 15 per cent of senior VC leaders are women and one-quarter of VC staff are female.
“We’re missing out on half of the population. Surely, that half of the population can bring valuable insights to the industry?” Ms Maes said.
Dr Deaker said support networks and programs offered by WinVC would be important to help the local sector navigate the down market, with the listed tech sell-off starting to flow through to private markets.
“It’s going to make the capital raising market even harder,” she said.
“Even more so now than ever, we need to collaborate and work together to ensure the future success of the industry.”
New research shows $452 million of private funding was spent across 52 deals in May, compared to $722 million this time last year, a 37 per cent drop in funding flowing to local start-ups.
With $600 million funds under management, the start-up founder turned investor said the OneVentures team has more than 12 years of knowledge to share with members of WinVC.
“We felt we’ve built a huge knowledge bank of information over those years and we can contribute back into the industry,” Dr Deaker said.
The group also aims to establish connections with women in VC firms overseas and accelerate the development of women-led funds.
“Traditionally, you’ll find that there are quite a strong, dominant male network into offshore VCs and a less dominant female network into offshore VCs,” Dr Deaker said.
More than drinks and nibbles
Ms Gardiner of Jelix Ventures said the group’s events would be “more than drinks and nibbles”.
“We want this to be much more than networking with drinks, canapés and a speaker, we are hell-bent on this being really high impact and high value to support the success of women in venture,” Ms Gardiner said.
“Unconscious gender bias is pervasive in the VC sector: it is well documented that it is harder for women founders to raise capital even though they generate better returns than male founders and similarly it is harder for female led-VC funds to attract institutional backers.”
Despite the rapid growth of venture-backed companies, investment in women has lagged, attracting only 2.2 per cent of the world’s venture capital funding.
The group hopes that raising the profile of women-led funds and sharing their knowledge within the network will combat the gender bias women encounter.
“More diversity will lead to better decision-making and facilitate the success of the whole sector and the start-ups they invest in. So everybody wins,” Ms Gardiner said.
Jonathan Kelly, interim CEO of the Australian Investment Council said the organisation looked forward to working with the group and supporting programs for female professionals in the venture capital sector.
“It’s great to see three leading investors come together to develop opportunities for women in the venture capital sector. Investors recognise that diversity improves performance, as Ingrid, Michelle and Andrea have clearly shown,” Mr Kelly said.