Good morning, Broadsheet readers! GM slams the brakes on its Nikola deal, Nasdaq takes action on board diversity, and All Raise raises $11 million for its mission to overhaul Silicon Valley. Have a lovely Tuesday.
– All Raise raises. All Raise, the nonprofit led by CEO Pam Kostka, has raised $11 million to bring it closer to goal of bringing equality to the tech world.
The group, which is just two years old, has already made important strides in that direction. As this New York Times story by former Fortune-ite Erin Griffith points out, during that brief span All Raise has grown to 20,000 members and played a significant role in increasing the number of female investors in the venture industry—women now account for 13% of the field, up from 9% when All Raise was founded. I imagine those stats were one of the reasons Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures, the Reid Hoffman Foundation, and GGV Capital decided to invest.
But the Times also lays out just how large the group’s challenge remains: the majority of VC firms still have zero female investing partners, the share of funding going to women-founded companies has actually fallen amid the pandemic, and—this one was new to me—the number of female founders who say they’ve experienced some form of sexual harassment has actually increased, according to a recent survey from Women Who Tech. And that’s before you even dive into how poorly the industry has fared in terms of hiring and funding women of color.
One reason change has been so painfully slow is pithily summed up by Emily Kramer, a former Carta executive who sued the company for wrongful termination and unequal pay (The company says it has been an advocate for gender equity): “People in power do not want to give up power.”
That’s a truism 2020 has made abundantly clear. And it’s a big part of what has made All Raise successful. The organization isn’t a group of outsiders pushing for Silicon Valley to mend its ways. Rather, it was founded by—and has since grown to include more of—the industry’s own, who know first hand what it is up against. So, for those who still refuse to release their stranglehold on tech industry power, this new round of funding comes like that classic scary movie reveal: the call is coming from inside the house.
Today’s Broadsheet was curated by Emma Hinchliffe.