The U.S. and European tech industries fail to represent the societies they serve and operate in.

And these inequities span every stage of a founder’s journey. From navigating opaque information networks on how to build start-ups most effectively to securing the financing to scale businesses, the entire tech ecosystem has a duty and an opportunity to drive tangible change to rectify the imbalances.

This crisis of systemic exclusion in the industry has been well-documented. European women-only founding teams received only 1.7% of capital raised in 2020, 1 and diversity from an ethnic perspective is also in a dire state. In the UK, minority ethnic-only teams received only 1.6% of all venture capital funding between 2009-2019

Solving the issue is a challenge, to say the least. Diversity is complex, nuanced and takes on various forms: gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, neurodiversity and more.

Tech needs to make critical changes to root out systemic exclusion and benefit from the value that greater inclusion can unlock.

But how?

  • Proactively source underrepresented founders – A critical first step is to eliminate reliance on often biased and unreliable signals whilst building trust among underrepresented founders.
  • Help diverse founders ‘break into the club’ – Once founders join an accelerator program, strengthen the peer-to-peer networks so that they outlive the duration of the program.
  • Support in financing the gap – Ensuring that all decisions are based on scientific and transparent processes and that investment teams better reflect the world in which they operate through clear public commitments and OKRs.

Only through bold and collective action can the ecosystem begin to eliminate a culture of systemic exclusion.

To find out how you can help drive change, download our paper today.