top of page

Next Steps

Investing in Women Code

We recommend that, as a first step, all Funds, Private Investors, and LPs review the commitments and sign up to the Investing in Women Code. The Code launched in 2019 as a landmark initiative derived from the Rose Review and led by the Department for Business and Trade, British Business Bank, UK Finance and the BVCA.

 

The Code is designed to directly address the lack of investment going to female entrepreneurs from all corners of the financial services and investment landscape, from early stage and seed funding, to venture capital investment and bank loans.

The Code commits signatories to:

  1. Adopt best practices to improve female entrepreneurs’ access to finance needed to start and grow successful businesses

  2. Nominate a member of the senior leadership team responsible for supporting equality in all interactions with entrepreneurs

  3. Provide annual funding data disaggregated by gender to BEIS, based on agreed guidelines. Providing data and analysis helps to promote greater transparency across the industry, highlighting where measures are working and where further measures may be needed.

 

The Code now includes over 200 signatories representing the big banks, SME lenders, VCs, angel syndicates and more.

Diversity VC Standard

We also recommend that all organisations review Diversity VC’s Standard, which can be accessed at www.diversity.vc

The Diversity VC Standard provides VCs with the tools and recommended practices they need to open their networks to under-represented founders, as well as the resources needed to cultivate an environment where founders and colleagues from all backgrounds feel that they belong in the industry and the ecosystem.

The Standard assesses policy across four areas of a fund:

  1. Recruitment and HR

  2. Internal Policy and Culture

  3. Deal-flow Sources

  4. Portfolio Support

Investing in Women Code

Acquire, retain and develop high-potential and high-quality talent to maximise profit.

  • Create an inclusive and diverse organisation based on equal opportunities

  • Increase diversity of partners and investment directors

  • Increase access to strong female and other under-represented talent

  • Structure tone, outreach and interviews to maximise opportunity for top, diverse talent

  • Define success outcome measures: create a multi-year plan to achieve outcomes

  • Prioritise actions on hiring practice: training, development and access, and carer, flexible working, maternity and returner policies

The Diversity VC Standard provides VCs with the tools and recommended practices they need to open their networks to under-represented founders, as well as the resources needed to cultivate an environment where founders and colleagues from all backgrounds feel that they belong in the industry and the ecosystem.

We recommend that all Funds, Private Investors, Founders and LPs review Diversity VC’s Standard, which can be accessed at www.diversity.vc

By taking part in the Standard, a fund signals to the rest of the ecosystem that it follows best D&I practices.

Who is the Standard for? 

  • Funds looking to improve D&I regardless of their place in the process – whether they're unsure of where to start or wish to develop existing policies and procedures

  • Founders looking for funds who share their values. The seal is the signal for this

  • LPs looking to invest in funds who are committed to seeing a change in representation within VC and the wider ecosystem

What’s involved? 

  • Assessment: Discussing your programmes and policies with a Diversity VC team member whilst completing an assessment survey

  • Consultation: Within two weeks of assessment, funds receive a dashboard with their results and insights into their D&I programming scores within a fund and compared to industry average. Funds walk through these results with an expert

  • Certification: There are two levels of certification. If a fund achieves either of these, they are awarded a seal to share on their website and documents

Kathryn Parsons MBE, Co-Founder and CEO, Decoded

"The under-represented founder economy is a multibillion-dollar economic opportunity as yet to be realised. Every country should be racing to unlock it with the same urgency with which they are treating artificial intelligence and the space race.  For investors struggling to know what to do, sign The Standard. It is a small first step on the journey to big change."

The Diversity VC Standard

"There are many reasons for investors to incorporate diversity into their investment practices. Not only do inclusive companies generate better returns, but there is significant risk associated with diversity-related scandals. Consumers, shareholders and employees expect investors to make real and sustained progress. Our hope is that this document, and the Diversity VC Standard, will help them take that critical first step."
bottom of page