We’re glad to see VC firms designing and implementing HR policies and codes of conduct against harassment and importantly against discrimination of all groups. It’s important for firms to have policies for all types of discrimination and bias, including harassment — they are a necessary (though not sufficient) part of changing how the VC industry works. Even before the recent changes in the tech environment, we included a guide to writing codes of conduct as a core part of our May 2016 recommendations, because codes of conduct set the norms for company behavior, and norms set the foundations for diversity and inclusion.
#MovingForward takes a big step forward in improving transparency and increasing accountability of VCs around diversity and inclusion, and by detailing a path for founders or employees to raise discrimination or harassment issues with VC firms.
Its simplicity of providing a directory of diversity, inclusion, and anti-harassment commitments from VCs belies the power of its platform: Each piece of information not shared is a huge signal to founders, limited partners, and potential employees about a firm’s lack of commitment to diversity and inclusion.
On the aspirational side, I hope it becomes a forum for sharing best practices and pushing firms to experiment and strive for better, easier, and earlier ways to prevent and solve problems. Its call for public reporting for complaints is also an indicator of seriousness and a mechanism for improvement.
Meaningful and lasting change depends on VCs collecting and sharing data for accountability, including how many reports are brought and how they are resolved.