Diversity is Starting to Happen
The only true check on more diversity is data.
We are beginning to see more women finally being added to the boards of S&P 500 companies. As men retire, there is pressure to replace that person with a woman or person of color. It is beginning to happen. Not as quick as I would like, but the numbers are beginning to point in the right direction.
VCs are asking more of their companies to see more diversity in the ranks. LPs are going out of their way to find diverse funds to invest in. We will see the true impact as these funds show success. It is not easy for a VC to step out of their comfort zone and invest in someone who doesn’t sound and looks like them. Putting in a big check at the beginning, it is important to have a solid relationship. Asking people to invest in their personal connection zone, even if the idea is a big one, is a big ask.
The conversations around diversity are daily. It is no longer at the bottom of the list. It is one of the first things I look at when talking to a founder or even engaging a company. Talk can be idle, but the constant conversation calls for action and a new way of thinking. Leaders are making it a priority as they should.
The reality is we need diversity on all sides of every table before we can get to a fairer, equitable world. At this point, having an organization of any kind without diversity around the table should be a non-starter for anyone engaging in a business. If we all began to think like that, it would be a better world sooner than later.