VC Human Capital Survey

VC Human Capital Survey
Conducted every two years since 2016, the VC Human Capital Survey—powered by Venture Forward, NVCA, and Deloitte—aims to:
  • Capture critical data on the workforce at VC firms
  • Develop a baseline understanding of demographics within the VC industry
  • Uncover the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across the industry
  • Serve as an educational resource for VC firms to understand how to expand the diversity of their teams and portfolio
The survey collects firm demographic information for each employee at VC firms. Additionally, the survey collects information regarding firm talent management practices and DEI programs.
VC Human Capital Survey

Sign up for Venture Forward communications for survey and DEI-related updates

Impact

4

editions of the survey, conducted in 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2022

300+
VC firms participated in the two most recent editions of the survey
140
VC firms signed #VCHumanCapital pledge

Survey Results

Fourth Edition 2022
Third Edition 2020
Second Edition 2018
First Edition 2016

Ways to Participate

VC Firms

  • Review findings from the latest report
  • Recruit your firm to participate in the survey
  • Recruit your firm to sign the #VCHumanCapital pledge

LPs

  • Review findings from the latest report
  • Encourage your GPs to complete the survey

  • Encourage your GPs to sign the #VCHumanCapital pledge

Founders

  • Review findings from the latest report
  • Encourage your VC investors to complete the survey

  • Encourage your VC investors to sign the #VCHumanCapital pledge

Sign up for our communications to be notified of the release of the latest survey results, next survey fielding period, and other DEI programming.
Contact us to learn more about the #VCHumanCapital pledge or for other questions.

#VCHumanCapital Pledge

The VC Human Capital Survey is a component of the NVCA and Venture Forward #VCHumanCapital Pledge. 140 VC firms have signed the pledge to show their commitment to the survey and to advancing DEI in the industry. Note: the pledge is not a requirement for survey participation.

FAQs

As an industry, we can only improve what we track, measure, and report. 

Launched in 2016 by NVCA and Deloitte, the VC Human Capital Survey was designed to capture critical data on the workforce at U.S. VC firms, develop a baseline understanding of demographics within the VC industry, and uncover the current state of DEI across the industry. The survey, now jointly produced with Venture Forward, is intended to be an educational resource for venture capital firms to understand how to expand the diversity of their teams and portfolio. 

The fourth edition of the survey was fielded in August and September 2022 for active U.S. VC firms to complete. Results from the fourth edition were benchmarked against findings from the first (2016), second (2018), and third (2020) editions. 

Although there have been other assessments of DEI in the VC industry, this survey provides a unique perspective. Unlike other research efforts in this area, it gathers data from VC firms of all types, sizes, and geographies; examines diversity for a variety of groups across all levels and types of positions at VC firms; and assesses firm talent management strategies.

The VC Human Capital Survey is a critical component to advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry. Our goal is to have every active U.S. VC firm participate, regardless of size, focus, location, or current demographics. 

The VC Human Capital Survey questionnaire was developed with input from a diverse range of VC industry leaders (including partners, CFOs, and HR/talent managers) and inclusion subject matter specialists at Deloitte. The questions have largely remained the same for the 2016, 2018, and 2020 surveys. However, as the industry has evolved, a few new questions were added to the 2022 questionnaire. 

The survey questionnaire consists of three sections:

  1. General firm profile information (e.g., number of employees, investment focus, AUM, and location). 

    Note: Individual firm names will not be publicly disclosed. Firm profile details will only be reported in an anonymized and aggregated format.

  2. Firm workforce details (e.g., provide demographic data and the details on responsibilities for each member of the VC firm’s team). 

    Note: Employee names are not collected on the survey. Information and data provided regarding individual persons will appear only in an aggregate form that will not permit such individuals to be identified.

  3. Firm talent management practices (e.g., how the firm recruits talent, who is responsible for human resources at the firm, how the firm promotes employees, whether the firm has a human capital strategy, etc.) 

    Note: Firm information and data provided will appear only in an aggregated and anonymized form.

Venture Forward, NVCA, and Deloitte understand the sensitive nature of the data and information collected in the VC Human Capital Survey. Each firm’s underlying data and information is strictly confidential. Data and information on firms and individuals will only be used in an anonymized and aggregated form, without any identifying details. NVCA and Venture Forward do not have access to identifiable underlying data and information, which is solely managed by Deloitte.

The goal of the survey is to have every active U.S. VC firm participate, regardless of size, focus, geography, or current demographics. 

As in previous surveys, NVCA, Venture Forward, and Deloitte identified the universe of active U.S. VC firms to survey in 2022, with the help of PitchBook data. We surveyed U.S.-based VC firms who met any of these criteria: 

  • Raised a VC fund between 2014 and 2021 
  • Made 1+ investment in a U.S.-based company in 2021, limited to VC firms that either raised a fund or were raising a fund, and made at least five investments in the past five years 
  • Identified as a growth equity firm in the NVCA 2022 Yearbook 
  • Identified as a corporate venture group that made 10+ investments in U.S.-based companies between 2017 and 2021 
  • Considered an NVCA member firm as of May 2022 

 

Each VC firm has one representative, such as their CFO, general counsel, or HR manager, complete the survey on behalf of the firm, providing information on its employees. Employees are not contacted to participate individually. The VC firm representative also provides information on the firm’s talent management, recruitment, and HR practices. 

Past survey response rates: 

  • 2016 – 217 VC firms representing 2,500+ employees  
  • 2018 – 203 VC firms representing 2,700+ employees  
  • 2020 – 378 VC firms representing 4,990+ employees 

 

In all three past surveys, the sample was broadly representative of the VC industry at the time.  

For the 2022 survey, several VC firms also publicly committed to participating by signing the NVCA and Venture Forward #VCHumanCapital Pledge. 

Each VC firm has a greater chance at improving what it tracks and measures. The same applies across our industry, which is why it’s incredibly important that we collectively track and measure progress. The VC Human Capital Survey also offers a way for us to collect and report the DEI data—in an anonymized way—to hold the industry accountable, learn where we still need to improve, and offer a way to benchmark against peers.

If your VC firm truly believes in advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry, we ask that you make submitting your details via the biennial VC Human Capital Survey part of your DEI strategy. The next survey will be fielded in 2024.

Venture Forward Executive Director Maryam Haque shares more on why this survey is important for VC firms and the industry.

Although there have been other assessments of DEI in the VC industry, the VC Human Capital Survey provides a unique perspective. Unlike other research efforts in this area, it gathers data from VC firms of all types, sizes, and geographies; examines diversity for a variety of groups across all levels and types of positions at VC firms; and assesses firm talent management strategies. The survey sample is broadly representative of the VC industry.

The more research and data on the state of DEI the industry has, the better we can understand progress and challenges. Other DEI-related surveys that are complementary—not duplicative—to the VC Human Capital Survey:

  • State of Black Venture – Conducted by BLCK VC, this survey is a comprehensive deep-dive into the Black venture investor experience to better understand where the community is investing, succeeding, and facing challenges.
  • Diversity Report – Conducted by DiversityVC and SIEO, this survey assesses the capital allocation and funding value chain between LPs, GPs, and founders. 

The 2022 survey has closed. The survey response period was open from August 29 through September 30, 2022. VC firms had the option to complete the survey using either a web-based survey link (recommended for firms with <10 employees) or survey workbook (recommended for firms with 10+ employees). 

Please contact hello@ventureforward.org with any questions, to sign up to receive the 2024 survey, or to add your firm to the #VCHumanCapital pledge.

What is the VC Human Capital Survey?

As an industry, we can only improve what we track, measure, and report.

Launched in 2016 by NVCA and Deloitte, the VC Human Capital Survey was designed to capture critical data on the workforce at U.S. VC firms, develop a baseline understanding of demographics within the VC industry, and uncover the current state of DEI across the industry. The survey, now jointly produced with Venture Forward, is intended to be an educational resource for venture capital firms to understand how to expand the diversity of their teams and portfolio.

The third edition of the survey, with data collected in 2020, continued the assessment of the state of talent management, with a special focus on DEI, in the U.S. VC industry. Results from the third edition were benchmarked against findings from the first (2016) and second (2018) editions. As in 2016 and 2018, the survey conducted in 2020 requested firm demographic information (e.g., investment stage focus) and demographic information for each employee (e.g., gender and race). Additionally, the survey asked firms to provide information regarding firm talent management practices and DEI programs.

The fourth edition of the survey—powered by NVCA, Venture Forward, and Deloitte—was fielded in August and September 2022 for active U.S. VC firms to complete. Results will be released, in an anonymized and aggregated format, in early 2023.

Although there have been other assessments of DEI in the VC industry, this survey provides a unique perspective. Unlike other research efforts in this area, it gathers data from VC firms of all types, sizes, and geographies; examines diversity for a variety of groups across all levels and types of positions at VC firms; and assesses firm talent management strategies.

The VC Human Capital Survey is a critical component to advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry. Our goal is to have every active U.S. VC firm participate, regardless of size, focus, location, or current demographics.

Read more
How is a firm’s reported data used?

NVCA, Venture Forward, and Deloitte understand the sensitive nature of the data and information collected in the VC Human Capital Survey. Each firm’s underlying data and information is strictly confidential. Data and information on firms and individuals will only be used in an anonymized and aggregated form, without any identifying details. NVCA and Venture Forward do not have access to identifiable underlying data and information, which is solely managed by Deloitte.

Read more
What data does the survey collect?

The VC Human Capital Survey questionnaire was developed with input from a diverse range of VC industry leaders (including partners, CFOs, and HR/talent managers) and inclusion subject matter specialists at Deloitte. The questions have largely remained the same for the 2016, 2018, and 2020 surveys. However, as the industry has evolved, a few new questions were added to the 2022 questionnaire.

The survey questionnaire consists of three sections:

  1. General firm profile information (e.g., number of employees, investment focus, AUM, and location).
    Note: Individual firm names will not be publicly disclosed. Firm profile details will only be reported in an anonymized and aggregated format.
  2. Firm workforce details (e.g., provide demographic data and the details on responsibilities for each member of the VC firm’s team).
    Note: Employee names are not collected on the survey. Information and data provided regarding individual persons will appear only in an aggregate form that will not permit such individuals to be identified.
  3. Firm talent management practices (e.g., how the firm recruits talent, who is responsible for human resources at the firm, how the firm promotes employees, whether the firm has a human capital strategy, etc.)
    Note: Firm information and data provided will appear only in an aggregated and anonymized form.
Read more
Who participates?

The goal of the survey is to have every active U.S. VC firm participate, regardless of size, focus, geography, or current demographics.

As in previous surveys, NVCA, Venture Forward, and Deloitte identified the universe of active U.S. VC firms to survey in 2022, with the help of PitchBook data. We surveyed U.S.-based VC firms who met any of these criteria:

  • Raised a VC fund between 2014 and 2021
  • Made 1+ investment in a U.S.-based company in 2021, limited to VC firms that either raised a fund or were raising a fund, and made at least five investments in the past five years
  • Identified as a growth equity firm in the NVCA 2022 Yearbook
  • Identified as a corporate venture group that made 10+ investments in U.S.-based companies between 2017 and 2021
  • Considered an NVCA member firm as of May 2022


Each VC firm has one representative, such as their CFO, general counsel, or HR manager, complete the survey on behalf of the firm, providing information on its employees. Employees are not contacted to participate individually. The VC firm representative also provides information on the firm’s talent management, recruitment, and HR practices.

Past survey response rates:

  • 2016 – 217 VC firms representing 2,500+ employees
  • 2018 – 203 VC firms representing 2,700+ employees
  • 2020 – 378 VC firms representing 4,990+ employees


In all three past surveys, the sample was broadly representative of the VC industry at the time.

For the 2022 survey, several VC firms also publicly committed to participating by signing the NVCA and Venture Forward #VCHumanCapital Pledge.

Read more
Why should my firm participate in the VC Human Capital Survey?

Each VC firm has a greater chance at improving what it tracks and measures. The same applies across our industry, which is why it’s incredibly important that we collectively track and measure progress. The VC Human Capital Survey also offers a way for us to collect and report the DEI data—in an anonymized way—to hold the industry accountable, learn where we still need to improve, and offer a way to benchmark against peers.

If your VC firm truly believes in advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry, we ask that you make submitting your details via the biennial VC Human Capital Survey part of your DEI strategy. The next survey will be fielded in 2024.

Venture Forward Executive Director Maryam Haque shares more on why this survey is important for VC firms and the industry.

Read more
How is the VC Human Capital Survey different from other industry surveys?

Although there have been other assessments of DEI in the VC industry, the VC Human Capital Survey provides a unique perspective. Unlike other research efforts in this area, it gathers data from VC firms of all types, sizes, and geographies; examines diversity for a variety of groups across all levels and types of positions at VC firms; and assesses firm talent management strategies. The survey sample is broadly representative of the VC industry.

The more research and data on the state of DEI the industry has, the better we can understand progress and challenges. Other DEI-related surveys that are complementary—not duplicative—to the VC Human Capital Survey:

  • State of Black Venture – Conducted by BLCK VC, this survey is a comprehensive deep-dive into the Black venture investor experience to better understand where the community is investing, succeeding, and facing challenges.
  • Diversity Report – Conducted by DiversityVC and SIEO, this survey assesses the capital allocation and funding value chain between LPs, GPs, and founders.
Read more
How can my firm participate?

The 2022 survey has closed. The survey response period was open from August 29 through September 30, 2022. VC firms had the option to complete the survey using either a web-based survey link (recommended for firms with <10 employees) or survey workbook (recommended for firms with 10+ employees).

Please contact hello@ventureforward.org with any questions, to sign up to receive the 2024 survey, or to add your firm to the #VCHumanCapital pledge.

Read more
Join us in celebrating: VC University's 5-Year Anniversary!
Tools & Templates Submission Form
Job Listing Submission
Ecosystem Event Submission