Checking the Diversity Box

Below is the ‘Tip of the Week’ from Ep62: Diversity in Venture Capital, Part 2 (Christine Tsai)

When we had Rob Day on the program, he mentioned a story about a cleantech investor that was hell-bent on closing a deal in a subsector of cleantech, I think it may have been nuclear. And, upon closing the deal, the investor was thrilled that they finally had a nuclear deal. Rob called this checkbox investing. Building a portfolio of companies that “check the box” instead of building a portfolio of the right investments. On today’s program we talked about the checkbox approach to diversity. Those firms that want to hire a black partner or those firms that want to invest in a woman founder. Christine mentioned how many are focused on checking the box or a splashy campaign instead of integrating diversity into their day-to-day. The check box approach, in the end, is unlikely to serve either party. And the advantages of more diverse and integrated environments are well-documented. Ultimately, those names at the bottom of the Future List study are only doing a disservice to themselves.