Benchmark has hired its first woman partner

The venture capital firms that back Silicon Valley's major startups are still mostly white and mostly male. But today, Benchmark took a step toward gender diversity with the hire of Sarah Tavel as a general partner.

That means the now six-person partnership went from 0 percent women to 16 percent women in one fell swoop.

Tavel is no token female. Her resume spans Bessemer Venture Partners, Pinterest and Greylock Partners, and, according to Benchmark's Bill Gurley, she "has shown a remarkable ability to spot new companies and markets."

In Benchmark's post, Gurley wrote:

It is clear that Sarah will get in front of breakout companies early, challenge our thinking on new markets, help us make sharper decisions, and be an incredible partner for the entrepreneurs we back.

Benchmark was a big and early investor in Uber, and Gurley is currently advising the company as it deals with various legal and public relations challenges.

By Elizabeth Crane, Re/, edited by CNBC

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