• Just 12% of top roles in Europe’s venture-capital sector were held by women in 2021, per Atomico.
  • Efforts to push diversity have been slow, says Mali Baum, a founding member of European Women in VC.
  • These are the 17 women who made partner at VC firms across the region last year.

At 29, Annalise Dragic became one of Europe’s youngest female venture-capital partners last year after rising through the ranks at Sapphire Ventures. 

Her promotion was something of a rarity, as the venture-capital industry is overwhelmingly male. Women made up 12% of the top roles like general partner and managing director at venture firms in 2021 — a slight decrease from 13% the previous year, according to Atomico’s State of European Tech reports.

The male dominance of the venture-capital sector can create something of a vicious cycle. A lack of diversity and the wider culture in VC may be keeping women away, Mali Baum, who heads up the diversity initiative European Women in VC, told Insider. 

“There is change, but it’s so slow,” Baum said of the movement to increase female participation in European VC.

Having more women in top investing roles would also improve diversity at a check-writing level, Baum said. Female partners are twice as likely to invest in female founders at the early stage, the Kauffman Fellows entrepreneurship program found.

Meanwhile, Richard Robinson, a Black founder who quit his job at a law firm to launch a legal-tech startup, found female investors were more ready to back him, he previously told Insider.

To mark the success of women earning top spots in Europe’s changing VC landscape, Insider is recognizing the women who made partner or general partner for the first time in 2021.

Due to the sheer scale of Europe’s venture-capital sector, we have no doubt missed out on some partner promotions during 2021. Reach out to Riddhi Kanetkar at [email protected] or Tasmin Lockwood at [email protected] to let us know who’s missing. 

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