Thursday, May 7, 2015

Diversity in Venture Capital – A National Conversation

Diversity in Venture Capital – A National Conversation

Kate Mitchell from Scale Venture Partners, co-chair of the National Venture Capital Associations Diversity Task Force, recently published a post on the task force its objectives and her own role. 

The stats here are well know - the most recent fulsome study was done by Babson. Indeed any many words have been written on the subject. (For example by me two years ago when the Midas list came out.) In general I think that by this point you either get it or you don't so "leaning in is fine but kicking ass is better."

In any in her post event Kate invited comments and suggestions "in this effort to change our industry for the better."

This is how I responded to her request:

It really isn’t hard. It just requires an open mind and commitment. 
A few suggestions:
1. Extend your network beyond your comfort zone – for deal sourcing and talent
2. Learn how unconcious bias affects everyone – inc you – and apply that learning
3. Set goals around diversity and stick to them
4. In running a fund make sure you operate in an inclusive manner – don’t run a boys club
5. Have zero tolerance for, and call out, sexist behaviors in your own organization, your investees and LPs
6. For men: NEVER EVER appear at a conference on a single sex panel