In 2017, a question came up at a founder's dinner:
"As an entrepreneur, if I experience harassment or discrimination, where do I report it and how will I be protected?"
While employees are protected by anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws, founders do not fall under the category of "employee" when fundraising from an investor. This puts founders in a legally vulnerable position if they experience any form of harassment / discrimination from investors during fundraising.
That year, four entrepreneurs came together to solve this issue. In 2018, #MovingForward was born with 39 pioneering VC firms publishing their anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies on our website. Many of these firms had not written such policies prior to our movement.
#MovingForward is a nonprofit dedicated to increasing transparency and accountability of venture capital firms and angel investors around harassment and discrimination. We have worked to foster a community of investors who are committed to moving this industry forward by publishing external anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies that apply to founders and other third parties, as well as contacts for reporting incidents.
A resource to help founders:
A resource to guide investors:
#MovingForward is not:
We operate on the passion and drive of our volunteers to push this industry forward.
|Amandine Flachs||Outreach - Europe|
|Amy Grouse||Founder resources|
|Andy Coravos||Advisor & Co-founder|
|Anjani Vedula||Outreach - US|
|Cheryl Sew Hoy||Advisor & Co-founder|
|Clara Zou||Founder resources|
|Emiko Tsutsumi||Founder resources|
|Elissa Estopinal||Outreach - US|
|Ginny Fahs||Executive Director & Co-founder|
|Harriet Wright||Outreach - Europe|
|Katharine Jiang||Chief of Staff|
|Rachel Chiu||Head of Policy|
|Rosie Allott||Outreach - Europe|
|Scarlett Dockery||Outreach - Europe|
|Tracy Chou||Advisor & Co-founder|
We are dedicated to protecting and supporting founders. You can find our published guides and resources to educate founders on their rights and options below.
In 2018, we launched an open source directory of diversity, inclusion, and anti-harassment commitments with 39 venture capital firms including 500 Startups, Greylock, Benchmark, Accel, and Andreessen Horowitz, among others. The directory has grown to include policies from 175 firms spanning 24 countries and 5 continents as of October 2020.
Having an anti-harassment / discrimination policy is a crucial first step for investors. Once this baseline is achieved, we help guide VCs on how to evolve their policies to be stronger and more relevant over time.
The following are comprehensive guides for VCs focused on how to write harassment and discrimination policies and establish objective and safe reporting points of contact. We are constantly updating and improving our recommendations.
We are also committed to supporting further work in legislation. In 2019, we published a letter of support for new legislation in Massachusetts, US that equalizes harassment and discrimination protections in venture.
We have spoken at various conferences and hosted events and workshops to educate others and improve existing policies.
For a full list, see our News & Media page.
We would not have made this progress without the VCs who have joined us, collaboration with Project Include, and generous support from the Hewlett Foundation and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. We are also indebted to all of the entrepreneurs, investors, and members of the startup community for sparking positive change in our industry. It's time for action and #MovingForward.