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Most VCs and entrepreneurs are doing nothing to fix Silicon Valley’s diversity problem

And that, of course, is the problem.


It’s now well understood that Silicon Valley has a diversity problem.

The positions of power inside most tech companies belong to white men, with women and minorities underrepresented pretty much everywhere, including the Valley’s biggest tech companies like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.

But not everyone thinks that’s a problem — at least not a problem worth doing something about.

A new study published Thursday by LinkedIn found the majority of techies in leadership positions aren’t creating initiatives to diversify their companies, and virtually none of them are making diversity a top priority.

LinkedIn found that 75 percent of venture capitalists have no idea if their firms have initiatives to increase diversity. Tech startup founders are even worse -- 79 percent of founders and co-founders with startups with fewer than 200 employees said the same thing.


Of the 285 VCs LinkedIn surveyed, just 2 percent said building a diverse team was their “top priority,” and just 4 percent said investing in diverse portfolio companies topped their list.

It’s easy to speculate about why diversity isn’t taking up brain space in venture capital land — the majority of VCs are white males, and very few white males are subject to the kind of sexism and racism that women and minorities deal with, according to the data.

In fact, 85 percent of white founders and 73 percent of white VCs say they have never “experienced any episodes of racism.” It’s a similar breakdown for sexism — 85 percent of male founders and 66 percent of male VCs say they haven’t experienced sexism.

That, of course, explains why the people in power don't think there's a problem.

They’re even sick of hearing about it -- 40 percent of male investors and 37 percent of male founders believe “the media spends too much time focused on the issue.”

So while the Facebooks of the world are making an effort around diversification (or at least claiming to), the concerning part about LinkedIn’s study is that the future Facebooks of the world are not. Talk about a pipeline problem.

This article originally appeared on

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