Many of us have watched recent events around the world with a range of emotions (horror, anger, sadness). The blatant examples of racial injustice have shaken many people and challenged those of us in positions of privilege to question how we benefit from discrimination and inequality. However difficult it may be, silence on these topics is not good for anyone. Joshua in our team has showed tremendous courage in raising these issues with us and we encouraged him to share his views more widely. I would urge you to read his thought piece here. At Notion we unequivocally support the #BlackLivesMatter campaign and an end to discrimination on the grounds of race throughout the world.
We are open and honest about our shortcomings both as a firm and as an industry. Notion was founded by a group of long-standing friends and business colleagues who were all white, (and by then) middle aged guys. This meant a lack of diversity from the get go but we understand the value of diverse teams for better decision-making and fund performance and have gradually sought to address this across all dimensions with progress made on gender (close to 50/50) and nationality but with more to do on race, disability and socio-economic background. This is why in early 2019 we founded IncludedVC to help people from minority and excluded communities build a career in venture and to provide a talent pool for us (and others in the industry) to build diversity. We will be opening up applications for our second IncludedVC fellowship in the next few weeks, with 40 places for fellows from around the world. So we are beginning to ‘walk the talk’, as are the VCs who have supported this and other diversity initiatives out there – but we ALL still have a long way to go. We must do better.