Since 2018, The State of European Tech report has plotted tech’s dismal track record on diversity and inclusion because we believe that European tech will only be able to reach its true potential if diversity and inclusion are at its core.
This is a complex topic; diversity is not just about gender, it is also about age, nationality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic backgrounds, neurodiversity and ethnicity. In particular, the Black Lives Matter movement this year gave cause for long-overdue reflection on the systematic exclusion of talent from Black/African/Caribbean, Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle Eastern/North African, and mixed ethnic backgrounds from European tech.
We believe that data is key to progress, and a number of outstanding reports mapped Europe’s diversity deficit this year. Those include The Black Report from 10x10, Extend Ventures’ Diversity Beyond Gender Report, and Unconventional Ventures’ Nordic Start-up Funding report.
But very little data exists at a European level. Dealroom started an initiative in September to collect ethnicity data through self-identification.
So far, close to 300 people have taken part and for those who reported their ethnicity, 11% identified as Asian, 4% as Black/African/Caribbean, 4% as Mixed, 3% as Middle Eastern/North African and 2% as Hispanic/Latinx. This data will slowly allow us to build an accurate picture of the diversity of those who make up the tech industry. With enough representative data, we hope to be able to conduct research on capital flows based on both ethnicity and gender, in different territories, sub-sectors and funding stages. For this, we need help. Claim your Dealroom profile and update your details, to help build the most comprehensive living dataset on ethnicity and gender in the tech industry.
We are always looking for partners on diversity data, and welcome inbound at firstname.lastname@example.org. With data, we can help change the status quo together!
It's no surprise to hear that when just 0.24% of VC funding has gone to Black entrepreneurs - as an Extend Ventures report found earlier this year - most respondents recognise the European Tech landscape can do more. We've made huge strides on the drive for greater gender Equity, but yet both for women, and other overlooked groups, there are still huge inclusion gaps. We, for example, run an equity free pre accelerator program, Rise, which gets hundreds of applications from founders from diverse backgrounds. We have support from a number of the most progressive firms out there such as Atomico, Google.org and Microsoft, but the entire ecosystem has to do more. There are still too many funds that don't have diverse investment teams, partnerships with ground roots organisations, or rely on other people to work at the very early stage. You can't build an ecosystem if you only want to get involved after Series A!"
As a Ghanaian-German female founder, living and raised in Germany, I think the hardest thing is access and being taken seriously. Often times if you are not already part of a network (which most 1-2 generation immigrant startup founders aren't) it is really hard to tap into that. It's very much like a sorority over here. Secondly since most VC are white, male and 40+ they often don't understand the ideas, products or opportunities within the Female BIPoC founders community as well as do not understand these markets and their growth/expansion potential at all.