The National Venture Capital Association has completed its 2011 census. Now we all know the business of doling out money to tech startups is a pasty one—right? we're all clear on this, yes?—but the association this year trumpets "signs of increasing ethnic diversity." So, take a wild guess at the combined percentage of blacks and Latinos among venture capitalists.
Did you guess two percent? If so, congratulations, you win another several decades of continued de facto exclusion and OMG HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A RACIST push back. After surveying 600 VC professionals, NVCA found the industry to be 87 percent white, 9 percent Asian, and 2 percent black or Latino. The low numbers of blacks and Latinos apparently precluded even breaking out separate tallies, even though these are the two largest U.S. ethnic groups after whites, constituting 16 and 12 percent of the overall national population, respectively.
The NVCA's president Mark Heesen wrote, "The future composition will be predicated on a variety of market factors.... Ideally, we would like to see a professional base that reflects the entrepreneurs in which we invest, one that is robust and diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity, nationality and age." Ha ha, yes, hopefully the future world of venture investors will be as wonderfully diverse as the current world of venture capital recipients. Dare to dream.
[Photo of Obama with a racially diverse array of tech leaders via White House/Flickr]