“As an entrepreneur, if I experience harassment or discrimination, where do I report it and how will I be protected?”

This question emerged at a founders dinner in November 2017. None of us had a good answer, so we started brainstorming. We asked our friends in VC if their firms had external policies and/or a reporting channel.

In opening the conversation, we learned that the issue was already top of mind for many VCs. But it was hard to see what individual firms were doing from the outside. So #MovingForward was born.

#MovingForward gathers VC commitments to foster a diverse, inclusive, and harassment-free workplace.

Specifically, our supporters have provided:

Of note: Oftentimes the discussion of and efforts to address harassment and discrimination have focused narrowly on sexual harassment and gender discrimination. We strongly believe that we need comprehensively and intersectionally inclusive workplaces and policies that consider not just gender but also race, age, sexuality, disability status, family status, immigration status, and many other dimensions of identity and experience. As such, baking intersectionality into your materials is a requirement of joining #MovingForward.

Join #MovingForward

This directory is open-source. Any firm can add and update their policies and point(s)-of-contact via our form, and we hope that every major venture firm will participate. We value progress over perfection, and admire the work of the following firms leading the venture industry towards inclusion:

“We’ve taken action towards creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces by making our discrimination & harassment policies and reporting contacts available to the public.”

VCs #MovingForward - North America

VCs #MovingForward - Europe

VCs #MovingForward - Asia, Australia & New Zealand

We have created reporting contacts and a policy, but #MovingForward cannot confirm that a copy of the policy will be available digitally upon request.

We pledge to share our statement, external policy, and point(s)-of-contactin the next 30 days.

Continue to share your progress

Join #MovingForward

Why #MovingForward

But really, why are you doing this?

A small group of entrepreneurs came together with three goals:

  1. Launch a public, collective step forward for the venture industry. We aim to highlight each firm’s approach and commitment so that we can learn and move together. Crafting external anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies is an important first step––and there’s much more do to. We’ve been impressed by a number of firms launching their own creative initiatives to catalyze change.

  2. Facilitate transparent reporting channels. Entrepreneurs facing harassment or discrimination are often unsure where and how to report. It can feel like going public is the only choice, and as such, our community faces significant under-reporting of incidents. One way firms can address this need is by providing formal point(s)-of-contact for entrepreneurs. Some VCs are working with third-party groups to nail down the proper templates/policies or reporting channels for raising concerns. We endorse this practice. #MovingForward also supports having internal point(s)-of-contact contact who can answer questions about the firm’s policy and provide further information if need be.

  3. Provide a universal, open-source, and evolving wiki for continuous updates. As policies and supporting strategies evolve and the industry continues to iterate, we want to provide an open platform where any firm can self-report their efforts. We are hosting this directory on GitHub.

Resources

For those thinking: “We don’t have anything yet, where do we start?”

Templates and example policies:

Organizations, consultants, and tools:

Press

CNN - “She spoke out about harassment in tech. Now, she’s helping VCs ‘move forward’” (March 8, 2018)

Recode - “Some venture capital firms are publicizing their sexual harassment policies for the first time” (March 8, 2018)

Pando - “Beyond #MeToo: A new initiative #MovingForward seeks to hold a newly shaken Silicon Valley accountable” (March 8, 2018)

Bloomberg - “Next Steps for #MovingForward and #MeToo” (March 22, 2018)

Institutional Investor - “Venture Capital Has a ‘MeToo’ Problem. Have Investors Been Ignoring It?” (March 26, 2018)

American Enough - “Stopping Sexual Misconduct In Silicon Valley - The Co-Founders Of #MovingForward” (July 23, 2018)

Les Echoes - “#MovingForward lutte contre la discrimination dans l’investissement” (March 8, 2019)

WIRED - “Inside the group fighting to purge sexism from Europe’s VCs” (March 8, 2019)

Dienas Bizness - “Iestājas par dažādību un iekļaušanu” (March 8, 2019)

Forbes - “Cheryl Yeoh Sew Hoy: Cracking Down On VC Sexual Harassment” (March 31, 2019)

Bloomberg Radio - “Investors Commonly Fund People Who Look Like Them “ (April 3, 2019)

Techworld - “EF’s Alice Bentinck talks #MovingForward and the need for more diversity in VC” (June 21, 2019)

From Our Supporters

This open-source directory was built in collaboration with the VCs listed above and …

Thank you to all of the entrepreneurs, VCs, and larger community for sparking positive change in our industry. 2017 was a period of sharing, listening, and processing. Now is the time for action and #MovingForward.