A Year in Review
Over the course of a year, Diversio has experienced extensive growth and facilitated events on a variety of topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The path to an inclusive society is made up of many small steps – and the end of 2021 marks a year of significant progress towards this mandate. Let’s take a look at the notable events that characterized this year.
The Rose Review
In February Diversio contributed to a report published by the British Venture Capital Association on diversity and inclusion to give guidance and best practice examples for any investor or investment professional looking to improve diversity and inclusion as a route to attracting and retaining quality talent, accessing high-conviction investment opportunities and optimizing portfolio management and returns. Diversio’s portfolio assessment was endorsed by the BVCA and Alison Rose Review committee.
FCA Discussion Papers
In August, Diversio were invited to contribute thought leadership on inclusion metrics and best practice DE&I survey design to the UK Financial Conduct Authority discussion paper titled ‘Building an inclusive investment industry’. The discussion paper is expected to become regulatory D&I policy in 2022 for all investment firms and organizations.
The year began with a strong start when the C100 included Diversio in its annual list of top Canadian-led tech startups. This list was created to highlight founders of exciting, high-growth initiatives. The underlying philosophy of companies on this list is to “Think bigger and learn to do the impossible.”
The Inaugural VC Certification Cohort
Building on the momentum of a strong start, Diversio launched its North American inaugural cohort of Venture Capital Certifications in March. The Diversity VC Standard is a global seal that defines what it means to be a diverse & inclusive investor. The standard identifies what VCs can do to increase diversity & inclusion across their portfolios. It also provides recommendations for how existing portfolio companies can implement their own D&I policies.
Some of the North American certified funds include: 500 Startups, Industry Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Clean Energy Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, City Light Capital, OMERS Ventures, McRock Capital, BDC Capital (Canada) and more.
The Valuable 500
This pledge reflects the mandate signed up by 500 CEO’s to drive disability inclusion in the workplace. Diversio participated in a rigorous strategic selection process with results to be announced at The World Economic Forum at Davos in January 2022. Diversio looks forward to supporting The Valuable 500 and their mission and targets.
RIA x Diversio
Diversio also partnered with RIA to host a panel on “How to Incorporate D&I into the Investment Process.” The panel addressed how a data-driven approach increases accountability and transparency for D&I within the asset management industry, as a fundamental step for institutional investors to address the persistent inequities in business.
The Fast Company
Each year the Fast Company nominates outstanding growth companies in a variety of industries. In April, Diversio was announced as a finalist in the AI and Data category. This nomination is for projects that harness the power of data, machine learning, or artificial intelligence to understand the world and empower change.
The Rosenzweig Report is an annual study of women in top corporate positions. This year, Diversio partnered with the authors to spread awareness about the need for tangible change through the findings of the report.
This year’s report indicated that of the 533 Named Executive Officers (NEOs), women hold 9.76% of these important jobs and the percentage of BIPOC women is exponentially less than that. Similarly, in the first six months of the pandemic, 65% of the jobs lost in Canada’s response to the global pandemic were filled by women.
It is clear that while progress is being made, there is still a lot of work to be done to further intersectional gender equality in the corporate world.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and this year Diversio hosted a panel on workplace disabilities to stand in unity with the community in acknowledgment of workplace barriers. This year’s theme was “America’s Recovery, Powered by Inclusion” and our goal is to make every workplace an inclusive environment for people with disabilities.
In December, Diversio partnered with the 500 Global team and shared insights on challenges unique to Indigenous communities and individuals, strategies for inclusion and belonging for Indigenous peoples in the workplace (especially at startups), and insights on cultural values of Native American and Indigenous peoples around the world.
In a year that has been especially challenging with the discovery of unmarked graves across the country, it is more important than ever for companies to understand how to support their indigenous employees in the workforce.
That’s A Wrap!
With the backdrop of Covid-19 variants and massive vaccine campaigns – 2021 has been an unpredictable year. The cycle of phasing in and out of virtual work has forever changed the workplace. Nevertheless, many great strides were taken to promote underrepresented groups in the workforce. At Diversio it is our goal to build on the momentum generated throughout this year. While 2021 was a year to remember, join us in making 2022 a year of inclusivity.