Henry Ward, founder and CEO of our portfolio company Carta, wrote a post yesterday outlining the gender inequity on cap tables throughout the startup landscape.
It is a good post and I would recommend you click through and read it.
In it, Henry writes:
When I started Carta I didn’t focus on diversity because I was worrying about staying alive. Then we hit our growth phase and went from 20 employees to 400 in 48 months. I assumed diversity would happen on its own. Of course it didn’t. I didn’t realize how much deliberate focus it takes. I do now.
That is a pretty typical story.
A few years at our annual CEO summit, Scott Heiferman, founder and CEO of Meetup, told a room full of startup CEOs that you have to build diversity into your company from day one because if you don’t, it becomes so much harder later on. He explained that nobody wants to join a company where nobody looks like them. That really hit home and woke quite a few people up.
All companies and people suffer from back burnering things. You focus on what you must get done and everything else takes a back seat.
That doesn’t work when it comes to hiring and diversity. You have to prioritize it and make it intentional.
We have done that recently at USV and we are getting the desired results.
That is very exciting to me.