Co-Founder and CEO at Diversity VC
The uncomfortable truth is that the technology industry today is not a place in which everyone, of any gender, race, disability, religion, sexuality, socio-economic background, can thrive and succeed. This is one of the most significant challenges we face, and the damaging impact of excluding so much talent compounds with each year that passes.
At the current rate of progress, it will take hundreds of years to reach a point where women get an equal share of funding to men. Less than 0.2% of funding is raised by women of colour in the US, and we have no idea how many LGBTQ+ or founders with disabilities there are in the tech industry, as this has yet to be measured at scale.
Technology, and the architects of that technology, have tackled some of the world’s biggest problems: they’ve helped eliminate diseases, and even landed robots on Mars. By connecting people all over the world, technology has helped to disseminate education and increased our understanding of one another as human beings. I’m convinced that together, and in spite of the challenge facing us, we can tackle the lack of diversity and inclusion in our companies.
This practical guide2 is intended to help anyone leading, working or investing in technology companies promote diversity and inclusion in their businesses. It’s not a silver bullet and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. Instead, this guide is intended to increase understanding of the complex and nuanced subject of diversity and inclusion in business more fully. It’s also intended to be a living resource for founders to continue to add to as they create and discover new answers (at www.inclusionintech.com). As an investor in very early stage companies and running a small organisation myself, I understand that implementing best practice isn’t always straightforward. However, this resource should make it easier to make a start. I hope it prompts thinking and initiates progress in advancing diversity and inclusion in tech, which will further our collective understanding as an industry as to how to enact continuous positive change.
Creating this toolkit has been a collective effort. It draws on the work of the VC Toolkit created by 10 Diversity VC volunteers and contributors published earlier this year. I’d like to thank all the people who have volunteered their time and expertise; we are extremely grateful for the contributions from everyone who took part.