NVCA is committed to expanding opportunities for men and women of all backgrounds to thrive in the venture ecosystem and ensuring everyone who works in this ecosystem has a welcoming professional culture and safe work environment, free from any type of harassment, abuse, and discrimination.
As part of this commitment, NVCA’s VentureForward initiative is the next chapter of our diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts, focused on:
- Providing education and training related to D&I, HR, and harassment to VC firms and startups.
- Sharing D&I, HR, and harassment best practices and policies for VC firms and startups to adopt.
- Creating an online hub for sharing information and resources on D&I, talent management and recruitment, and HR for everyone in the venture ecosystem to access.
- Connecting VCs with a broader talent pool for their firms and a broader pool of entrepreneurs seeking funding.
- Conducting research on D&I in the venture ecosystem.
Since 2014, NVCA has tackled some of these priorities (see highlights below) though we know there’s still more work to do. We’ve also learned that addressing D&I as just a project or through a task force or committee gives the false sense that this is a short-term issue led by a small group though that’s not the case. VentureForward is an ongoing, sustained program integrated with NVCA’s broader mission of greater economic prosperity across the U.S. through venture capital, and we need the commitment of everyone in the venture ecosystem to help lead the charge in moving the industry forward.
Get involved with VentureForward or let us know how you’ve taken action via email@example.com.
NVCA’s Commitment to Improving Diversity & Inclusion in VC
Diversity is core to competitiveness
Diversity is core to the competitiveness of the U.S. venture capital industry. The mission of venture capital investors is to partner with the most promising entrepreneurs to turn innovative ideas into successful companies. The entrepreneurial ecosystem cannot perform at its best if it does not include all of the promising talent, regardless of their background.
We must act with intention
Building a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem is not an issue that will solve itself. If the venture capital industry is committed to supporting diverse talent, we must act with intention in order to expand our networks, to engage with a new population of entrepreneurs, to market our firms in new ways in order to welcome women and underrepresented minorities into our firms and portfolios.
Investors that value inclusiveness will lead the way
We believe that the venture capital firms that recognize the competitive value of investing in women and minority founders and bringing diverse talent into their investment teams will lead the way. Expanding their reach for the most qualified talent and the most promising startups will only increase their likelihood of success. There remains an enormous, untapped opportunity to support and invest in diverse entrepreneurial talent. This opportunity belongs to the firms that aggressively pursue and foster the best, brightest young talent in their teams and in their portfolios.
Impact begins with firm leadership
We are committed to establishing leadership within the venture community to pursue our core mission of advancing people of different genders, races, orientations, socioeconomic groups, geographies and talents who desire to build and invest in high-growth companies. Working together, we can move toward building an innovation ecosystem that reflects the diversity of our nation and further propels us forward.
Highlights of NVCA’s D&I Work
Leadership, Action & Resources
- December 2014 | NVCA launched the Diversity Task Force to develop a clear and measurable path to increase opportunities for men and women of diverse backgrounds to thrive in venture capital and entrepreneurship.
- August 2015 | Led by NVCA’s Diversity Task Force, 45 VC firms committed to actions to advance inclusion in the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the White House Demo Day.
- March 2017 | NVCA, with the help of Proskauer Rose, Miller Law Group, and Silicon Valley Bank, released sample HR policies to assist VC firms and startups in fostering diverse and inclusive cultures. Download the HR Policies
- Summer 2017 | NVCA took action to publicly condemn sexual harassment, solicit input from the industry on recommendation to address harassment, and convene the industry to review recommendations.
- September 2017 | NVCA announced our path forward to address sexual harassment in VC through developing HR policies and best practices, facilitating education and training, and launching VentureForward.
Education & Events
- April 2016 | The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), NVCA, Crunchbase, and Square 1 Bank hosted the Bridging the Gender Gap: Entrepreneurship, Women, and Investing event in San Francisco to discuss underrepresentation of women in the innovation ecosystem.
- March 2017 | NVCA hosted a two-part Policies Driving Innovation event in San Francisco, with the first part focused on D&I data, best practices, and HR policies.
Research & Reports
- July 2016 | NVCA released the Building a More Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem report showcasing the work of the NVCA Diversity Task Force and others changemakers in the industry to advance a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem
- December 2016 | NVCA released the results from the NVCA-Deloitte Human Capital Survey, which was designed to capture critical data on the workforce at VC firms, and develop a baseline understanding of demographics within the VC industry.