Initiative developed at AspenTech Policy Hub aims to close funding gap for underrepresented founders
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Emtrain, which provides workplace culture analytics and compliance training for growth-stage tech companies, today announced a partnership with the Tech Funding Equity Project (TFE), an initiative developed at the Aspen Institute Tech Policy Hub to close the funding gap experienced by underrepresented and overlooked founders. This partnership will provide diversity, equity, and inclusion tools for both funding organizations as well as the companies they fund.
"There is a tremendous need for diversity and inclusion in the tech funding space," said TFE chief Mariah Lichtenstern, who also serves as Emerging Manager and Founding Partner of DiverseCity Ventures. "By some estimates, more than 95% of the gatekeepers to capital investments are white or Asian, and 83% are male. And 95% of venture-backed startup founders are white or Asian. There is a lot of work to be done and I believe technology can play a part."
The partnership between Emtrain and TFE is designed to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within funding organizations that influence their portfolio companies, and introduces DEI tools to startups that can leverage them as they scale. It begins with an assessment on the TFE site that provides an initial scorecard as a benchmark that can be measured internally, and against the performance of peers externally. From there, participants can tap into Emtrain's advanced tools.
While Emtrain generally works with high growth companies of over 200 employees, TFE addresses problems faced by pre-seed startups and those who fund them.
"Studies show that culture is set by the time an organization reaches 15 employees. After that, an established culture must be fixed -- a much harder undertaking," says Yancey, who previously served as a Silicon Valley labor attorney working with tech giants including Google and Intuit prior to founding Emtrain. "Creating a cohesive, diverse culture early on means more opportunities for overlooked operators to build wealth and invest back in similarly overlooked founders."
And according to Lichtenstern, the cost of overlooking diversity in the startup world is crippling: "In startups, the Center for Global Policy Solutions has found that over nine million jobs and $300 billion is lost in annual income due to discriminatory finance practices. We can't afford to continue the cycle of economic oppression; it's not sustainable."
For more information about the Tech Funding Equity Opportunity Pledge, please visit: https://www.techfundingequity.com/opportunity-pledge
Emtrain's workplace culture platform reinvents compliance training with provocative content that sparks dialogue and unique culture analytics that drive individual and organizational behavior change. Emtrain.ai allows you to benchmark your culture against our global community to identify issues before they become toxic problems that become compliance issues and destroy culture. Emtrain partners with industry experts and uses current events to teach on topics such as sexual harassment, unconscious bias, and ethics. Emtrain's innovative platform is used by more than 800 companies, such as Nerdwallet, Dolby, LiveNation, and others. Recognized by Fast Company on the "World Changing Ideas 2020" list, Emtrain is a woman-owned and women-led company. Please visit https://emtrain.com
Ryan Gerding for Emtrain
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