Facebook announced their diversity numbers this summer and has made scant progress in two years. Only 1/3 of their employees are female and just three percent of senior U.S. leadership are Black. According to USA Today, Hispanics represent four percent and African Americans two percent of Facebook’s U.S. workers, percentages that have not budged since 2014 and that fall below other industries’ averages.
If diversity were a product that launched 2 years ago it would be considered a failure. A product that stagnates for two years has a growth problem. — Bo Ren
While there are positive strides to increase the minority presence in tech and VC, with new initiatives like Black Girls Code, Clearly Innovative and Backstage Capital, there are still serious questions about both tech and the VC industry’s lag in progress. However, today I was pleased to see a new initiative building programs to encourage diversity within the VC industry in which Black investors comprise a mere 1.7 percent of those firms.
The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) just released a new report, Building a More Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, showcasing the work of the NVCA Diversity Task Force and others over the past 18 months to advance a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. The firms have also committed to either maintaining or improving the diversity within their respective firms. Some of the commitments include:
- Reserve one investment team internship position for a candidate that meets the inclusion and diversity definition as described by the NVCA Inclusion and Diversity Task Force with the understanding that the internship program is the primary feeder for our full time analyst program.
- Adoption of the Rooney/Murray Rule for the interview processes for senior and intern level positions.
- Committing 20+ hours per month on mentoring, presenting, and participating in events designed to help foster diversity within the entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as actively mentor women within and outside of our portfolio.
- Supporting organizations promoting diversity, such as Girls in Tech.
Below are a few of the 45 firms representing $112 billion in assets under management as well as invested in 7,000 companies who made strong commitments to diversity and inclusion within their organizations and within the entrepreneurial ecosystem:
Greenspring Associates; Scale Venture Partners; Founder Collective; 500 Startups; NEA; Flybridge Capital Partners; .406 Ventures; Battery Ventures; JumpStart, Inc.; True Ventures; Pappas Ventures; Polaris Partners; NCT Ventures; Johnson & Johnson Innovation — JJDC; The Springboard Fund; and GE Ventures.
Learn more about those commitments and view highlights from 2015 in the full report by Clicking Here