A project that is securing commitments from Los Angeles venture capital firms in the tech industry to increase their civic engagement and diversity Friday released the results of its first survey, which found that just 34 percent of investors are people of color and 81 percent of investors are male.
The PledgeLA survey also found that 51 percent rarely or never volunteer with a nonprofit and 45 percent do not have a company “give back” program.
PledgeLA was launched in October 2018 by the Annenberg Foundation and the city of Los Angeles when more than 80 firms joined the partnership with promises to publicly track their civic participation and diversity.
The survey did find that Los Angeles appears to be slightly better off than nationwide averages on diversity. Compared to a 2016 National Venture Capital Association survey, the results indicate that Los Angeles VC firms have more gender diversity, are more diverse, and are younger than the national average.
“In order to see a real transformation of the LA tech landscape, we knew we had to work toward diversifying not just the workforce but also the investors, who are critical to impact and success,” said Cinny Kennard, Annenberg Foundation Executive Director. “With our PledgeLA VCs, we’re taking a top-down approach with the hope they can reset the composition of the decision-making table. And we feel confident that they will.”
PledgeLA said its members have responded to the issues highlighted by the survey by launching a citywide VC internship program which begins this summer in Los Angeles and will seek out participants from a variety of diverse backgrounds.
The aggregated results from the venture capital firms are available here: www.pledgela.org/accountability.
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