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We're beginning to see the industry pay attention to other intersections beyond gender, such as race, class, ability and more. This intersectional approach supports and celebrates individuals who have multiple identities, such as black women. Over the past couple of months, there have been a number of initiatives supporting these underrepresented groups, such as EITFood Change Makers Programme; a two-day hackathon for women and people of colour in the agricultural sector and Included VC; a 12-month venture capital fellowship group for marginalised communities, such as veterans and refugees.
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What kind of progress do I think the European tech community has made towards increasing diversity and inclusion in the past 12 months? The slow kind.
If investors are more representative of society's diversity, we will reach a more diverse set of entrepreneurs. They, in turn, can create a whole range of companies and services that we have not previously thought of.
92% of all funding went to all-men teams this year, which is not much better than last year. It’s obvious that capital is not being allocated in a way that reflects our society or encourages a broader set of people to become entrepreneurs. Diversity of all kinds is lacking in our ecosystem. I am passionate about changing the status quo, and increasing diversity at VC funds is one important piece to encourage more diverse founders. If investors are more representative of society's diversity, we will reach a more diverse set of entrepreneurs, we will reach more diverse entrepreneurs. They, in turn, can create a whole range of companies and services that we have not previously thought of.
I think we have made huge steps in understanding and admitting the problem. Now, action will be key. In the words of Alan Turing, 'we can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done'.
It's our responsibility to build an open and inclusive tech ecosystem in Europe. We have taken the first step and started a conversation around the topic. Now we need a firm commitment, actions and measures to move forward, as there is clearly value to be captured through diversity. I wish more LPs would start demanding venture capitalists to be the change they want to see in the industry.