10. The Push for Inclusion
Diversity issues plague both the startup and venture capital arenas. One recent study showed that 77.1 percent of founders are white, only one percent of founders receiving venture investment are black and startups founded by women receive only 9 percent of investments.
But discussions of diversity increasingly also mention "inclusion." It's a major focus for investor/activist Ellen Pao's nonprofit Project Include, which cites inclusion as one of its core values (along with comprehensiveness and accountability). Pao says her nonprofit has been focusing its efforts on startups, given the diversity stagnation plaguing more established tech companies such as Google and Facebook. Some of Project Include's goals include specific targets for hiring across specific demographics, which addresses the diversity side of the diversity and inclusion proposition.
Inclusion, however, refers to the integration of people from diverse backgrounds once they are in the work place.
The Quantitative Studies of Diversity and Inclusion (QSDI) initiative at the City College of New York has specifically set its sights on finding ways to quantify the more elusive component of inclusion. QSDI founder Paolo Gaudiano in a recent contributor column for Forbes acknowledges that feelings of exclusion and inclusion are difficult to track, and suggests companies create measurable categories, such as access to leadership, projects, compensation and other specific benchmarks. QSDI also is partnering with the Financial Women’s Association to start assessing how inclusion impacts women working in the financial industries sector.