An article published by Crain's Chicago Business titled "This is how women are really faring in Chicago tech" highlights how Baird Capital Partner Nicole Walker and Vice Presidents Momei Qu and Joanna Arras are breaking down barriers in the Chicago tech and startup community.


At Baird Capital, half of the six-person team overseeing its venture fund are women. There were none four years ago, when Nicole Walker joined from Abbott Ventures. Vice Presidents Momei Qu and Joanna Arras, who previously worked elsewhere at Baird, rejoined the firm in investment roles after graduating from Ivy League MBA programs. The composition shift grew out of a conversation about diversity with an institutional investor in the fund who's a woman, says partner Michael Liang.

Hiring more women has led to more interest from others. "People think it's just self-selection, where not enough women want to go into venture capital," Qu says. "A lot of women want to do this."

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