We’ve Always Believed That Black Lives Matter. This is the Work We’re Doing to Prove it.
Following the murder of George Floyd, and as American streets filled with protests, there was a steady stream of company statements. Firms publicly proclaimed their support for the movement, held forth their wishes for racial equality, and many shared their company goals to combat systemic racism.
VitalizeVC & IrishAngels believe that Black lives matter. Our initial silence was not inaction or indifference. We knew that first and foremost, we had to take a hard and humble look in the mirror as an organization. We pursued a genuine exploration of our own DEI goals and commitments with the focus on how we can achieve real and lasting impact.
So, what has happened in the last few months?
In early June, we held a virtual fireside chat where our team had a safe place to discuss the current social injustices. We sent an internal communication to our nearly 300 investors, and took the national moment of reckoning to highlight the disparities that exist within venture capital. We identified the gaps in our own portfolio, and promised to do better. We shared additional articles and resources with our membership on race and privilege, and how both inform venture capital’s homogeneity and the disproportionate flow of dollars.
We hosted an educational webinar for our investors on diversity and our portfolio. In addition to sharing the research that diverse companies have higher rates of performance, better returns and operations, and smarter teams, we spent time with our own data and the gaps therein.
Finally, we came together as a team in early July to formulate measurable goals that were approved by our Board and Diversity Committee in mid-July:
Our deal pipeline: 50% of our co-investor network and 50% of our deal flow is diverse by end of 2021.
Investment: Maintain the current equilibrium in check size for female & BIPOC founders when compared with their male & white counterparts.
Our angel investors: Double the number of women, and 5x the number of BIPOC investors in our group by 2025.
In summary, we are listening and learning in real-time. The goals above do not encompass all of our efforts, but they are top of mind for our Board and team. Our organization is committed to DEI and social justice, and we are excited to continue making and measuring progress against our goals.