BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OpenView, the expansion stage VC, announced today its participation in the 2016 to 2018 NCWIT Pacesetters program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Qualcomm. The NCWIT Pacesetters program spans corporate and academic organizational boundaries in order to identify effective ways to recruit and retain a certain number of technical women all within an aggressive timeframe. Program participants hold shared accountability to themselves and the public for achieving the set out common quantifiable goals.
“Real, progressive change doesn’t happen in silos; and what gets measured, gets done,” said NCWIT CEO and Co-Founder Lucy Sanders. “Our Pacesetters take advantage of this innovative, boundless computing community — collaborating alongside esteemed NCWIT peers and researchers to define and measure goals based on researched strategies for creating change for women in tech.”
As an NCWIT Pacesetter, OpenView has set out the following measurable and impactful goals it will strive to achieve over the next two years:
- One-quarter of all on-site interviews for technical roles are women
- One-third of all on-site interviews for sales roles are women
- Half of all potential board seat introductions are women
To achieve these goals, OpenView has laid out a framework for success, which includes:
- Building a more diversified pipeline for hiring into OpenView and its portfolio companies at all levels.
- Creating intentional content within job descriptions, messaging and how positions are described to increase conversion rates of women applicants for higher engagement.
- Designing a more balanced hiring team and structured selection processes to reduce the potential for conscious or unconscious bias.
“Our membership in NCWIT’s Pacesetters program affirms our commitment to increasing diversity in tech,” says Scott Maxwell, Founder and Managing Partner at OpenView. “We are determined to lead by example and set out a path for other VCs and tech companies to follow. Our greatest hope is that these efforts not only create a more inclusive environment, but that through increased diversity in the tech community we build more successful, innovative and inspiring organizations. This is not simply a way of doing business, this is the way to long-lasting success."
In 2014, while women held 57 percent of all professional occupations in the U.S. workforce, they held only 26 percent of professional computing occupations. Additionally, in 2013, while women held 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, they held only 18 percent of computer and information sciences bachelor’s degrees (www.ncwit.org/bythenumbers). These numbers often mirror the demographics of individual technology institutions. As a member of the NCWIT Pacesetters program, OpenView will work to change the gender imbalance within its organization and its portfolio companies through strategies that are designed to result in large and sustainable impact.
In addition to its membership in NCWIT’s Pacesetters program, OpenView has worked over the past several years to increase overall diversity within the firm and its portfolio companies. Last year, OpenView became the first VC firm to enter into a formal partnership with Startup Institute, an organization that works to train underrepresented minorities in preparation for careers with technology startups. Also last year, OpenView promoted Devon McDonald to Partner. And, most recently, OpenView welcomed Natalie Diggins as its first Entrepreneur in Residence. Natalie has a technical background and will be consulting with OpenView’s portfolio on all aspects of product and engineering.
“We are excited to join NCWIT’s Pacesetters program to do our part in increasing women’s participation in the VC and tech communities,” said Carlie Smith, Senior Talent Manager at OpenView. “We are committed to expanding diversity hiring over the next two years both within OpenView and for our portfolio companies in order to build not only more successful organizations, but ones that are truly inclusive and provide opportunities for all.”
OpenView, the expansion stage venture firm, helps build software companies into market leaders. Through our Expansion Platform, we help companies hire the best talent, acquire and retain the right customers and partner with industry leaders so they can dominate their markets. Our focus on the expansion stage makes us uniquely suited to provide truly tailored operational support to our portfolio companies. Learn more about OpenView at openviewpartners.com.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a nonprofit community of more than 650 universities, companies, nonprofits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K–12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers. Find out more at www.ncwit.org.