Diversity and Inclusion at BGV

At BGV, diversity, equity and inclusion are embedded in our principles and investment thesis. We take a participatory approach centered on diversity, equity and inclusion. This shapes how we work with each other, founders and the wider ecosystem. Time and time again, studies have proven that more diverse teams, build better products and businesses. We want our employees and founders in the BGV community to bring their authentic selves to work and thrive.

This deck summarises our work to promote diversity and inclusion in our own team and our portfolio.

Why we’re monitoring diversity data

At BGV, we monitor diversity data so that we can help create a more inclusive tech and VC ecosystem. 

As VCs aspiring to drive positive outcomes by investing in tech for good founders from all walks of life, we hope that we can level the playing field for any founder to build an impactful tech for good business. We deeply care about diversity and inclusion in our team and founder community and take active steps to monitor our own efforts in creating enabling opportunities for founders from all walks of life. 

This means that we track and monitor diversity data that founders are comfortable disclosing with us. We continuously adapt our approach to ensure we are indeed creating an enabling environment for founders to access capital and thrive. 

Here we explain the data we collect and why and share insights from monitoring diversity and inclusion data within the BGV Team. 

 

The bigger picture

Of course not everyone is comfortable disclosing what is considered quite personal information about themselves, and that is ok. We’re taking a permission-based approach, so if you don’t want to disclose certain information you can simply choose ‘prefer not to say’ as an option when you fill in our form. 

We want to assure you that when you choose to provide us with your information, we’re dealing with it responsibly and in accordance with the law. 

More and more people are willing to share their information and we’re using it to inform our decisions, particularly our investment decisions, to be able to reach communities and individuals who would otherwise not consider applying to BGV, but can definitely benefit from our investment and support. 

Often we see VCs and other funders use the lack of data as an excuse to say that there are not enough diverse founders and continue to maintain the status quo which puts founders from under-represented backgrounds at a massive disadvantage. And whilst we cannot invest in everyone who applies to BGV, we’re sharing these aggregated results to show that there’s a plethora of talented, ambitious, and diverse founders, to counter these harmful narratives and hopefully inspire more investors to publish who they fund. 

 

The questions we ask

Our questions revolve around the following characteristics:

  • age
  • gender identity
  • ethnicity
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • parent/carer status and other socio-economic background variables.

View our questionnaire here

Here is a snapshot of the results from our Autumn 2020 application process (which represents 66% of all applicants). From a pool of 232 applicants, 209 were happy to submit more diversity data, and 154 applicants did indeed submit more info. 

Increasing the number of people answering diversity and inclusion questions

We’re fully aware and recognise that there are always things to unlearn and for internalised prejudice to be checked in every action we take. That’s why we take a permission-based approach and ask founders applying to our programme to submit a separate diversity and inclusion questionnaire, ultimately to remove any unconscious bias in the review process. 

 

Representation in our own team

We’re proud to say that we’re beating the norms of your traditional VC, and have strong female and ethnically diverse representation in our team and investment committee. 

We do however, have our blindspots. We pride ourselves in striving to educate ourselves to understand the different lived experiences from individuals from all walks of life, become better allies to continued engagement with various initiatives supporting under-represented communities and offer two internship positions each year to get more people into VC and tech for good. No warm intro needed.