Last chance to vote for our Diverse Founders project

Does diversity really matter or is it just in a media hype?
2nd November 2018

It feels like diversity is a conversation that just won’t go away.

Since the #MeToo scandal broke in 2017 there has been a constant stream of news about inequality in the workplace and some pretty shitty things done by people in senior positions across the media, government and business.

But in the wider scheme of things does it really matter what a few people are doing? Well yes… If it makes our industry – any industry – less diverse, then of course it does. Here’s a McKinsey report that shows the most diverse businesses are a 1/3 more likely to make more money than their peers and yesterday TechNation released a report showing that tech firms with diverse boards make am extra £70K on average.

Women make up only 15% of people working in the tech industry locally

So if having a more inclusive business is important, how are we doing locally?

Not so good.

22% of Bristol’s population is BAME, with 93 languages spoken in the city but you wouldn’t see this if you looked at our ecosystem. In fact, in 2017 the Runnymede trust named Bristol as the 7th worst place in the UK on their inequality index.

Women make up only 15% of people working in the tech industry locally and, according to Beauhurst, 91% of funding in 2017 went to male-only founders making women’s journeys significantly more difficult. A Natwest study shows that women are significantly less likely to believe they have the skills to found a business (33.8% vs. 48.8% in men) and subsequently the rate of entrepreneurial activity in women is less than half that as men.

The Runnymede trust named Bristol as the 7th worst place in the UK on their inequality index.

There’s already some amazing activity going on to challenge these figures from Women’s Tech Hub, Girl Geeks Dinners, our own SHIFT programme and the new  Black South West Network event series.   We believe though, that there’s more that can be done, which is why we’ve partnered EngineShed, Oracle Global Startup ecosystem and SETsquared to bid for a project which would work with diverse founders to help them shape their ideas and launch start-up businesses.

If we want to change the system we need to make sure both corporate life and startup life is inclusive. You can help us do that.

To enable our project we need your help with a public vote! Please show us your support by voting here by 8th November!