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Portfolio guidance
and management

Purpose and principles

Manage diversified portfolios of quality companies that maximise risk-reward and financial outcome.

  • Track portfolio data with a female founder and other diversity lens.

  • Understand the financial importance of strong ESG within the portfolio and pipeline companies, and your ability to affect change.

  • Engage LPs and underlying investors on ESG within the portfolio and report to them in qualitative and quantitative form.

Talent acquisition, retention and development

Every website has a story, and your visitors want to hear yours. This space is a great opportunity to give a full background on who you are and what your site has to offer. Double click on the text box to start editing your content and make sure to add all the relevant details you want site visitors to know.

If you’re a business, talk about how you started and share your professional journey. Explain your core values, your commitment to customers, and how you stand out from the crowd. Add a photo, gallery, or video for even more engagement.

Margo Polishchuk, Co-Founder, proSapient

"We built a $10m ARR business in three years by having a high-performance culture. But a high-performance culture is kept high by being sustainable. It comes hand in hand with a working culture that is rich in diversity, equal opportunities and inclusion."

Julia Rabin, Project Lead, Diversity VC

"A start-ups diversity of thought and experience doesn’t begin and end with its founders. Just as a fund must create an inclusive environment where all voices are heard, so should its portfolio companies develop their internal policies to ensure individuals from all backgrounds have an opportunity to grow. Providing guidance and support to portfolio companies from the start will pay back in dividends, not just in team success but in widening your network as a whole."

Best practice examples

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Best Practise

D&I as a metric

  • Strongly encourage companies to collect diversity and employee engagement data that identifies bias and barriers on an ongoing basis.
  • Review D&I policies of portfolio companies and to compare with internal VC and PE firm policies.
  • Review if you want to set a minimum D&I policy standard within portfolio companies.
  • Make D&I an agenda item on investor updates and at the board level within portfolio companies.
  • Consider if you want to set targets for inclusion or create incentivisation within team compensation.

Talent acquisition, retention and development

  • Hiring.
  • Widen applicant pool beyond traditional sources.
  • Remove bias from hiring processes.
  • Interview and hiring targets.
  • Talent targets.
  • Be worthy of great talent.
  • Diverse mentorship programmes.
  • Family leave policy.
  • Returnship programme.
  • Flexible work policies.
  • Back-up care.
  • Work-life balance.
  • Pay gap analysis.
  • Training and mentoring programmes for hires from different backgrounds.

Internal education,
culture and policy

  • Organisational D&I statement and strategy.
  • Accountability.
  • Have an internal culture of clear, direct and plain-text expectations.
  • Chief diversity officer or champion.
  • Harassment and discrimination policies.
  • Organisational culture surveys and tracking progress.
  • Inclusive office spaces.
  • Leadership training.
  • Anti-harassment training.
  • Measure promotions and attrition by gender, ethnicity and other areas.
  • Employee resource groups or circles.
  • Harassment reporting system.
  • Cultural competency training.

Investment bias

  • Tracking and reporting deal-flow demographics.
  • Targets.
  • Partnerships with D&I organisations.
  • Diversity referral programme.
  • Executive compensation.
  • Dedicated fund.
  • Access and outreach programme.
  • Qualitative and quantitative scorecards.
  • Communication, review and feedback.
  • Unconscious bias awareness.

Portfolio guidance and management 

  • D&I as a metric.
  • Provide additional guidance to female-led companies and other diverse groups.
  • Diversity on boards of directors.
  • Standard code of conduct and zero-tolerance policy.
  • Culture and executive training.
  • Portfolio inclusion assessment.
  • Mental health support.
  • Independent ombudsman.
  • Include D&I questions during due diligence.
  • Use your position of authority responsibly.

Investment bias

  • Tracking and reporting deal-flow demographics.
  • Targets.
  • Partnerships with D&I organisations.
  • Diversity referral programme.
  • Executive compensation.
  • Dedicated fund.
  • Access and outreach programme.
  • Qualitative and quantitative scorecards.
  • Communication, review and feedback.
  • Unconscious bias awareness.

Portfolio guidance and management 

  • D&I as a metric.
  • Provide additional guidance to female-led companies and other diverse groups.
  • Diversity on boards of directors.
  • Standard code of conduct and zero-tolerance policy.
  • Culture and executive training.
  • Portfolio inclusion assessment.
  • Mental health support.
  • Independent ombudsman.
  • Include D&I questions during due diligence.
  • Use your position of authority responsibly.
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