clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

More than 80 percent of tech founders still have no formal plans to promote diversity

And that’s a problem.

Shutterstock / Recode
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

The technology industry has a diversity problem — period. And if a survey of 700 tech founders tells us anything, it’s that fixing it is still not a top priority for many startups.

Eighty-four percent of technology founders say they have no formal plans or policies to help foster diversity and inclusion at their startups. At the same time, 54 percent of respondents say they do have some strategy, but nothing formal. And nearly one out of three founders says their startup has not even discussed the topics of diversity and inclusion in the past year.

The results come from a wide-ranging annual survey of 700-plus tech founders conducted by First Round Capital, the early-stage investment firm. While First Round conducted the survey, fewer than 10 percent of survey participants are founders of startups in which First Round has invested.

As for the cause of the diversity issues in the technology industry, male and female founders don’t agree. Half of men blamed it on the so-called “pipeline” problem — that is, not enough women and minorities are going into tech in the first place. Only a quarter of women surveyed agreed.

Instead, more than half of the women surveyed blamed the issue on either unconscious bias in hiring and promotions or on a lack of role models. Just 16 percent of men believe the same.

For more on tech’s diversity problem, and some possible solutions, check out this recent episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher:

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.