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If you are a Venture Capital (VC) Firm, early-stage investor, investment professional, limited partner (LP), asset manager, foundation, family office, or development finance institution (DFI) investing in the Asia-Pacific, interested in understanding how to identify and mitigate unconscious gender bias in your processes, this toolkit is for you!

The Equity Lens Toolkit (ELT) provides VCs and early-stage investors with tools and frameworks to mitigate the risk of potential unconscious bias in the investment process and discover missed opportunities. Sign up to receive the full toolkit here.

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Equity Lens Toolkit for Venture Capital Investors

FIRST, A BIT OF BACKGROUND

SO, WHAT IS GENDER BIAS?

Gender bias refers to systematic, often unconscious, prejudice favoring or discriminating against individuals based on their gender. This toolkit focuses on the systematic and usually unconscious prejudice against women founders or women-led startups regarding funding decisions.

Unconscious gender bias can be present at all stages of the investment process, leading to missed opportunities for high returns.

Equity Lens Toolkit for Venture Capital Investors

The Toolkit guides investors on how to tackle bias in the different stages of their investment process. It focuses on three stages: sourcing, evaluation/due diligence, and post-investment. Investors can select the stages that interest them and customize their approach based on their specific context. This will help them to get started or deepen their involvement in mitigating and reducing bias.

What tools exist to help tackle unconscious gender bias?

Equity Lens Toolkit for Venture Capital Investors

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE FULL TOOLKIT

For more information on how this framework could help mitigate unconscious bias and uncover investment opportunities through your investment process, sign up to receive the full toolkit!

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This toolkit was developed by Value for Women as a part of UN ESCAP’s “Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship” project (CWE), funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.

  1. Wee Denise. “JPMorgan says “shockingly low” number of startups in Asia led by women.” Yahoo Finance. 8 March 2023.
  2. International Finance Corporation. Moving Toward Gender Balance in Private Equity and Venture Capital. IFC, 2019. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.ifc.org/en/insights-reports/2019/gender-balance-in-emerging-markets
  3. Miller, Amisha, and Saurabh Lalll. Smarter Systems: How Tweaking your Diligence Process can Unlock overlooked opportunities. A Key Insights Report on the Gender Financing Gap. International Finance Corporation, 2021. Accessed 23 March 2024. https://vilcap.com/smarter-systems
  4. Ibid.
  5. UBS.The Funding Gap Investors and Female Entrepreneurs. UBS, 2021. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://www.ubs.com/global/en/wealth-management/women/insights/2021/funding-gap.html
  6. Hunt, Vivian, Sara Prince, Sundiatu Dixon-Fyle, and Kevin Dolan. Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. McKinsey, 2020. Accessed April 29, 2024 https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/diversity-wins-how-inclusion-matters#/.
  7. Brooks, Alison W., Laura Huang, Kearney, Sarah W. and Fiona E. Murray. “Investors prefer entrepreneurial ventures pitched by attractive men.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 111, no. 12 (2014): 4427-4431.
  8. Abouzahr, Katie, Krentz Matt, Harthorne,John and Taplettl Frances. B. Why Women Owned Startups Are a Better Bet. Boston Consulting Group, 2018. Accessed Aprill 29, 2024. https://www.bcg.com/publications/2018/why-women-owned-startups-are-better-bet
  9. Mohan Pavithra. “This is What Women Endure When Trying to Raise Capital.” Fast Company. September 18, 2018. https://www.fastcompany.com/90235052/this-is-what-women-endure-when-trying-to-raise-capital

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