By: Rahul Parekh
We created 2150 with a vision to build a new approach to venture investing, one that includes the people experiencing the problems we are trying to solve and aims to construct a more positive future.
Our focus on diversity is core to that aim.
We believe that the best outcomes start with a team who focuses on solving the biggest problems, combining a sense of purpose with the pursuit of performance. These great people can come from anywhere; any location, background, educational institution, gender or ethnicity.
Currently, the venture capital industry has one of the most homogenous workforces in the world, leading to a structural bias in the way that VCs make decisions. Pattern matching exacerbates this problem, causing VCs to select the types of management teams they have previously been successful with, missing potential opportunities to invest in more diverse teams that might develop transformative businesses with real understanding of the end-user.
Research repeatedly shows that companies with diversity in senior leadership significantly outperform those that don’t. A diverse workforce creates an environment that enables better decision-making and improved results. Therefore at 2150, we believe that the empowerment of talented individuals, regardless of gender, ethnicity or background, is critical to growth, innovation and success, both at our firm and in the venture ecosystem more broadly. We are committed to a culture of diversity, inclusion and mutual respect, where everyone is equally valued and appreciated.
As we build our team, we have set in place key diversity objectives for hiring, we have changed how we find and assess candidates and how we mentor our new hires once they’ve joined. Here are some of the recruitment steps we are taking as a fund:
- We look beyond our existing networks and will post open roles publicly
- We acknowledge our own unconscious biases and create an interview process where candidates can be fairly compared
- We partner with organisations such as Diversity VC and Future VC to source diverse candidates for our internship programmes and full time roles
- We hire by committee to allow for multiple viewpoints and perspectives
We have considered ways to create a supportive environment for our team, reviewing our maternity and paternity leave policies, flexible working policies and office environments. We have put in place a harassment and anti-discrimination policy as well as appointed one of our partners (Christian Hernandez) as our Chief D&I officer to oversee our diversity efforts.
We feel the biggest impact we can make is when considering where to invest capital. Therefore we have put diversity policies in place regarding how we source investments, how we make investment decisions and how we support our portfolio companies in their journey:
- We proactively source diverse deal flow by tracking diversity metrics in our CRM tools targeting a minimum of 50% of all deals having diverse senior management teams
- We support diverse founders at early stages to provide feedback and guidance
- We include D&I metrics within our due diligence questions
- We have an ‘Inclusion Clause” in our standard term sheet so underrepresented candidates have an equal opportunity for an open executive position in a portfolio company
- We encourage portfolio companies to identify one D&I objective to address at every board meeting
With the above guidelines in place, we were extremely proud to have achieved The Diversity VC Standard following an assessment and certification process. The Diversity VC Standard aims to set a benchmark for best practice on Diversity and Inclusion in VC as well as to raise awareness within the ecosystem.
We continue to search for the best talent to join our team. If you’re interested in submitting an application, please contact us at email@example.com with a CV and covering letter. We’d love to hear from you.