Diversity in US Tech - a Call to Action

Aisling Carlson
Chief Business Officer
January 15, 2021
“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.”
Jesse Jackson

The second edition of ‘Diversity in US Startups’ report - a collaboration between RateMyInvestor and Diversity VC - is being released this month and the picture it paints isn’t pretty.

The woeful inequity and inequality of opportunity for marginalized groups (Black, Brown, LatinX, Women) that continues to persist in the Venture Capital and Startup space in the United States (and, frankly, globally) is dire. The report, which builds on the findings from its first edition, highlights the need for a dramatic overhaul of the industry; calling for immediate and radical change in how investors source, evaluate and select the startups they fund. 

  • No more ‘introductions from a warm source’; which inevitably leads to a strengthening of existing networks and status quo. 
  • An end to purely investing in ‘CS graduates from Stanford, MIT or <insert any number of eye-wateringly expensive Ivy League Schools here>’ and more promoting of entrepreneurs coming out of such stellar programs as The Hidden Genius Project or CodeTalk
  • Enough with the lack of teeth pledges to ‘try and meet with more diverse founders… but there simply aren’t enough of them’. There are plenty - funds simply aren’t looking in the right places, cultivating the right network, or setting the right incentives for their teams’ to broaden their due diligence funnels.

And listen, we get it. The insidious and deeply entrenched structural racism, sexism… all the ‘isms’... are the foundations of our industry. They are designed to make this hard to change.

At RateMyInvestor, a Sieo company, we are witness to this pervasive unfairness through the honest and heartfelt reviews on our platform attesting to the discrimination that founders come up against day in and day out. We rail against this and feel strongly that we have an opportunity to catalyze change in the space. The report we have released is a step in the right direction but we need to do more than simply set quotas, take pledges and spread information.

So where do we go from here? Well it might sound simple, but we need to continue collecting data from you; the founders, entrepreneurs, future leaders in our space. What are your fundraising experiences, how are you treated, what is the good, bad and the ugly? We will use this data to hold the VC industry accountable. And, secondly, we need you, Investors, to get on board with this. We aren’t looking to trip you up. Quite the opposite in fact. We want to partner with you to collectively create the right initiatives, infrastructure and standards for a diverse, resilient and innovative tech ecosystem. Embracing diversity not only allows for growth, but it is the right thing to do.

For more information on diversity, equity and inclusion in the tech please get in touch here, sign up to attend our Diversity in US Tech Panel on 21 January 2021 here, and check out these resources:





Tell us your idea.

drop us a line.