34% of startup boards still include no women

34% of startup boards still include no women

Startups in Europe increasingly want to take angel investment from experienced operators — and they also want to add them to their boards.

“Businesses are getting smarter to the benefits of having experienced operators around the table,” says Maria Josife, senior partner at recruitment firm Erevena, which has today published a new report on the boards of high-growth businesses in Europe.

At the same time, those operators want to get stuck into startups. “There are more exited founders and executives who can participate at a board level, and more NEDs [non-executive directors] who traditionally operated in the public domain and want to diversify their portfolios across private and public activity,” she adds.

Startups are also bringing NEDs on board earlier. Josife suggests this might be because they need expert help navigating tricky regulation in sectors like fintech and healthtech; or as a way to diversify the voices around the table.

Still, most startup boards are far from diverse, as Erevena’s report shows. It surveyed 300 board members of European startups, most of whom are based in the UK.

Here are our key takeaways.