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硅谷的多元化努力失败了,年轻的欧洲科技行业如何避免

Grace Donnelly 2018年12月24日

从许多方面来看,正在成长的欧洲科技行业都是硅谷的翻版。但就他们惨淡的多元化数据方面而言,却非好事。

今年,欧洲风投公司将93%的资金投入了创始人为男性的初创企业。

非营利组织Diversity VC和位于伦敦的风投公司Atomico发布的指南报告《科技行业多元化与包容性》(Diversity & Inclusion in Tech)显示,这些数字已经有六年未变。Atomico的宗旨是帮助创业者建立更有包容性的公司。

虽然近几年硅谷巨头们一直在提升员工多元化水平的问题上面临来自公众的压力,但Skype联合创始人、Atomico首席执行官尼克拉斯·曾特罗姆认为,#MeToo运动迫使了欧洲科技界思考并首次公开承认自己在这方面的问题。

曾特罗姆在赫尔辛基的Slush创投大会上表示:“[多元化]是个全球问题,而不是欧洲或者美国的问题。由于欧洲科技行业是如此的年轻,我觉得我们也许更容易确保自己从一开始就走上正确的轨道。”

对曾特罗姆和Diversity VC联合创始人切克·华纳来说,在树立典范并挪动以“赖着不走”而闻名的多元化指针方面,风投资本家的位置最为有利。

在和《财富》杂志的交流中,曾特罗姆和华纳为打算解决自家公司多元性匮乏问题的负责人出了一些点子。

招聘时要有前瞻性

曾特罗姆指出:“说‘噢,这是个后备问题’过于容易。”

但想获得Atomico资助的公司都要准备好回答文化方面的问题,“不在乎多元化会是个大问题”。

他还说多元化政策也是对投资条款清单的要求之一。

华纳表示,虽然许多创始人都明白多元化很重要,但他们不知道从哪里着手。

华纳认为:“我觉得科技行业有一个很大的断层。许多从业者的出身都非常优越,他们未必会意识到自己的情况,因此有点儿自我认知不足。”

曾特罗姆建议用人单位留出足够的时间,把招聘人员提供的缺乏多元化的候选人名单退回去,扩大他们的覆盖面,同时摒弃哪种人能给科技公司带来价值的陈旧观念。

华纳说,让应聘者知道公司把多元化作为首要任务也很关键。特别是在争夺人才的环境下。对许多求职者来说,找到具有类似价值观的公司甚至更为重要。

别害怕尝试和失败

华纳强调,改善公司的多元性是一项持续性工作,无法一蹴而就。

她说:“这并不容易。我觉得大家对此得现实一点儿,不要绕开这个问题。”

华纳指出,许多公司担心因为做的不够或者采取的措施没有带来显著变化而出现问题。但在哪些奏效以及哪些不起作用的问题上采取透明做法有助于推动整个行业前进。

曾特罗姆表示,Atomico刚开始追踪相关数据时,成员公司在性别多元化方面的表现令人失望。但一年来Atomico向他们介绍了自己为纠正这个问题所付出的努力,这让它能在开展包容性工作上更好地为成员公司提供建议。

他说:“大家确实得把眼光放长远。我不认为明天就能解决这个问题,但我们需要为下一代播下种子。”(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

This year 93% of funds from venture capital firms in Europe went to startups founded only by men.

These numbers haven’t budged for six years, according to data published in Diversity & Inclusion in Tech, a guide created by the nonprofit Diversity VC and London-based VC firm Atomico that aims to help entrepreneurs build more inclusive companies.

While Silicon Valley giants have been publicly pressured to improve their employee diversity over the last few years, Skype co-founder and Atomico CEO Niklas Zennström believes the #MeToo movement has forced the European tech community to reflect on and publicly acknowledge the problems in their own numbers for the first time.

“[Diversity] is a global problem. It’s not a European problem or an American problem,” Zennström said at the Slush startup conference in Helsinki. “I think because the European tech industry is so young, it might be easier for us to make sure we’re getting on the right course early on.”

For Zennström and Diversity VC co-founder Check Warner, it’s venture capitalists who are in the best position to set an example and move the notoriously sticky needle on diversity.

In a conversation with Fortune, Zennström and Warner shared wisdom for leaders seeking to address a lack of diversity in their organizations:

Be proactive in hiring

“It’s too easy to say, ‘Oh, it’s a pipeline problem,’” Zennström pointed out.

Companies hoping to secure funding from Atomico should expect questions about their culture, Zennström said. “And if they don’t care about diversity, that’s going to be a big red flag.”

A diversity policy is also one of the requirements in the firm’s term sheets, he added.

Warner said that while many founders understand diversity is important, they don’t know where to begin.

“I think there’s a massive disconnect within the tech industry,” Warner noted. “A lot of people working in it come from these very privileged places and they don’t necessarily realize that about themselves, so there’s a sort of lack of self-awareness.”

Zennström suggested that employers leave enough time to push back on recruiters who don’t offer a diverse slate of candidates, expand their networks, and abandon stereotypes about the kinds of people who can add value to a tech company.

Letting candidates know that the organization prioritizes diversity is also key, Warner said. Especially in a competitive hiring environment, finding a company with similar values is even more important to many job seekers.

Don’t be afraid to try and fail

Warner emphasizes that improving diversity within an organization is an ongoing journey rather than an actionable item to be completed.

“It’s not easy,” Warner said. “And I think we need to be realistic about that and not shy away from it.”

Many companies are concerned about backlash for not doing enough or launching initiatives that don’t make a significant change, she said. But being transparent about what works and what doesn’t helps the entire industry move forward.

Zennström noted that Atomico’s own numbers on gender diversity were disappointing when the firm began tracking them, but sharing its efforts to correct the problem in the last year enabled it to better advise companies in its portfolio on working toward inclusion.

“You need to think really long term,” he said. “I don’t think that we can fix this tomorrow, but we need to plant the seeds for the next generation.”

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