Kleiner Perkins releases its first diversity report, outlining steps it will take to boost its record

Kleiner Perkins releases its first diversity report, outlining steps it will take to boost its record ...

In the wake of its victory in the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by Ellen Pao, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers issued its first-ever diversity report.

The venture capital firm reported that nearly half of its employees are women, but they account for only one-fifth of the investing partners. Overall, Kleiner Perkins said 46 percent of its employees are women, as are 33 percent of its general partners.

The statistics on investing partners do not come as a surprise — they were revealed in testimony at Pao’s trial.

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A blog post by Beth Seidenberg, who testified for KCPB at trial, noted that her company’s statistics were not unusually low, compared with Silicon Valley’s record as a whole.

She cited a 2014 Babson College study that found only 6 percent of venture capitalists are women, while only 15 percent of VC companies employed any women executives at all.

Moreover, KCPB reports that the proportion of women in its internship program had risen to 32 percent this year, from 5 percent in 2012.

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In her post, Seidenberg outlined the steps KCPB is taking to improve opportunities for women:

Measuring Progress: Results matter. That is why we are starting by sharing gender statistics for both our firm and the KPCB Fellows Program at kpcb.com/diversity. We will continue to advocate for – and regularly report on – diversity at our firm.

Addressing Bias: Even with the best intentions, we can still possess unconscious bias. We have consulted with leading diversity experts and determined that training can help counter these biases. All KPCB employees and partners have been trained, and we are offering the same program to the companies we invest in.

Filling the Pipeline: We must improve the pipeline of diverse talent coming to tech companies. Every year, thousands of the best and brightest college students apply to beKPCB Fellows, a program that pairs students to opportunities at tech start-ups. In 2015, women accounted for 32% of the Fellows, up from 24% in 2014 and 10% in 2013. For 2016, our goal is to reach 50% women and underrepresented minorities.

Advancing and Retaining Talent: Two years ago, we started an initiative that brings together a community to champion rising women in the industry. Because retention is a key issue for most companies in Silicon Valley; we believe efforts like this can help provide mentorship and role models for up-and-coming women in tech.

➤ Kleiner Perkins Discloses Gender Numbers and Pledges to Improve [Wall Street Journal]

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