RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Advocates for diversity among startups are likely to be disappointed in the findings from a survey conducted among CEOs across the country.
Only 21.6 percent of founders reported having a formal strategy to promote diversity and inclusion, according to First Round, a seed-stage venture firm focused on building a “vibrant community of technology entrepreneurs and companies.”
Also, 31.5 percent of respondents believe that it will take as long as two decades for the tech industry to be representative of the general population with regard to gender. More than 36 percent believe it will take just as long for the industry to be representative of the general population with regard to race and ethnicity, and 18.3 percent believe that the industry will never be representative of the general population with regard to race or ethnicity.
Of respondents, 23 percent believe that the primary cause of underrepresentation is due to unconscious bias in hiring, promotions, and compensation, and 36.6 percent believe that there aren’t enough women or minorities that are entering the technology field.
In 54 percent of companies whose founders responded to the survey, the board of directors consists of all men, and only 3.3 percent of boards are all women.
Two-thirds of male founders say that technology companies are inclusive for parents, yet only one-third of female founders say the same.
According to the survey data, women are also twice as likely to report investor bias against founders that are pregnant or have children.
Despite 75 percent of companies offering some form of work-from-home benefits and nearly 37 percent offer a return to work program with flexible time, 65 percent of founders shared that they have no dedicated space for nursing mothers and 90 percent fail to offer childcare support, credits, or programs.