The National Venture Capital Association’s resources, built with the assistance of experts, come in response to months of accusations against high-profile investors.
Months before the #MeToo movement, the world of venture capital had its own moment of reckoning.
In the wake of sexual harassment accusations made by a former employee of Uber last year, the technology space and the investors that drive its growth also came under scrutiny. Women tech entrepreneurs began to share accounts of harassment by major figures in VC, including Binary Capital’s Justin Caldbeck, 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, and Lowercase Capital owner and Shark Tank panelist Chris Sacca. Sacca, who had previously retired from venture capital, denied a groping accusation but publicly apologized for his role in creating an “inhospitable” culture in the technology field. Caldbeck and McClure stepped down from their respective positions.
Now, the association that represents the venture capital sector is taking steps to help tackle the issue. The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) announced this week a new set of resources to help the industry better handle workplace sexual harassment. Created with the assistance of employment, human resources, and legal experts, the resources include sample policies and best practices for addressing harassment and discrimination, along with a sample code of conduct policy. The documents have been added to the association’s collection of model legal documents.
The resources arrive five months after NVCA voted to improve its HR initiatives and, according to Bloomberg, represent eight months of work on the issues raised by last year’s scandals. The group is also working on expanding its education and training offerings, as well as creating a new diversity and inclusion effort called VentureForward.
“With the release of these tools and resources, we’ve taken a positive step forward to address sexual harassment and create a more welcoming industry, but more work remains to strengthen venture capital for the better,” NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin said in a news release.
Franklin added that the association will tackle additional issues that arise through the VentureForward initiative.