Diversity starts from Day 1

Small Steps Vol 62: Launching Giant Leap’s DEI policy for public use 🧾; Australia stalling on women-focussed funding 👩🏾; and biodiversity booms 🌏
September 8, 2022
Giant Leap

“In any creative project, you can’t imagine what the end is going to be, unless it is a very small thing you’re doing.”

— Robert Pirsig

Kick start

💃🏿 Diversity starts from Day 1.

Startups, starting from Day 1, have an incredible power to reshape society as they scale up new cultures and redistribute wealth.

With great power, founders and investors have great responsibility to not perpetuate unequal power structures (pretty sure Spiderman would agree). And they also have a great opportunity to flourish in diversity, as the stats show diverse cultures outperform.

That’s why we’ve released Giant Leap’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy (featured in the AFR), using a targets based approach to ensuring we are embedding Diversity from Day 1. It’s for anyone to use and iterate and spread this idea.

Check out our DEI policy


What we’re thinking about

🤕 Competing with one arm. Progress on funding for women founders has stalled in Australia according to SBE and Techboard, with all women founding teams receiving a shocking 0.7% of funding in FY22 while teams with at least one woman received 15%. Both are under the 5 year averages of 2.6% and and 24% respectively, which aren’t much less appalling. And just last month, it was reported that women medical researchers received $400 million less in government funding than their male peers. Oof. These stats are a reminder that we’re competing with one arm behind our backs and the current system could be costing us our next breakthrough, unless we break it first.

📉 Double standards. Would WeWork’s Adam Neumann have been forgiven - i.e. able to raise A16Z’s biggest ever investment after blowing up the “We” in WeWork - if he was a Black woman? It’s a question raised after the ousting of Black Girls Code Founder, Kimberly Bryant, due to alleged misconduct. While not condoning her actions, several commentators point out that hers and other ousted Black founders’ “misconduct” mirrored behaviour seen by the likes of Neumann, Musk, and Bezos, and are frustrated by the double standard.

Whatever your view, it’s a sad moment for global progress on addressing serious representation gaps. Priyanka Ashraf (Founder of the Creative Cooperative) pointed out this week that culturally and linguistically-diverse women in Australia recorded the lowest workforce participation of any category.  

🌏 Biodiversity boom? The Australian government is set to introduce legislation to create a market for biodiversity credits. Much like carbon credits, biodiversity credits are sellable items that represent a climate outcome - in this case, restoring or conserving Australia’s biodiversity. Funding for technology companies serving the carbon market doubled over the last year, smashing $1.5b raised in the first 6 months of this year. Could biodiversity management be on the same path?

New paths

👩‍⚕️ Seer is seeking a Cardiac Technican

🧀 Change Foods is on the lookout for a Research Associate

🧻 Who Gives A Crap is hunting for a Head of Product

🐛 Goterra is looking for a Head of Facilities

👗 Glam Corner is hiring a Fashion Quality Control Team Member

🧾 Are you interested in working for an impact business? Fill in our expression of interest form and we’ll put you in our database of impact interested people that we share with our portfolio companies.

🔥 Also, check out our Giant Leap Fund jobs board for over 100+ available positions. There’s even more jobs at ethical companies on the global B-Work job board.

Community and connections

🤸‍♀️ Giant Leap and Startup Vic are hosting an Impact Founder Brekkie & Learn to give a sneak preview of our latest impact support tools and create space for impact peeps to connect. 5th October in Melbourne. Don’t be shy y’all.

✈️ Swoop Aero has taken out a Group Award at the Australian Aviation Awards.

💡 Amber Electric’s Dan Adam landed a feature profile ahead of the Purpose Conference. It runs from Wednesday October 19th - 20th.

🦸🏽‍♀️ Our partner Rachel Yang featured on the High Flyers Podcast.

👏 Congratulations to all of the winners of the Dream Venture Masterclass National Pitch Showcase. Our Managing Partner Will Richardson and Partner Rachel Yang were mentors for the event.

For the road

👌 Today is R U OK Day. Be sure to check in with your mates. If you need some help popping the question, their website has a bunch of handy resources and tips.

💸 Fintechnically included. As the funding crunch bites for fintech, we could be seeing the comeback of a financial inclusion crisis. While we’re not lighting any candles for the predatory BNPLs going under, we’re rooting for those fintechs with heart (see Up Bank’s teaching good saving practices or Mos providing financial aid to students).

👋 Goodbye, and thanks for all the smog. The Australian clean energy revolution is in full swing. Just a few weeks ago, solar power briefly overtook coal as our primary source of energy. Meanwhile, plans are underway to retrofit coal powerplants, converting them into hydrogen facilities with pioneering Australian tech.  

🌸 Globally, the emissions reduction is real. As Max Roser points out on Twitter, economic growth is finally being decoupled from emissions.

Twitter avatar for @MaxCRoser

Max Roser @MaxCRoser

More and more countries achieve to decouple economic growth from CO₂ emissions. Just made this new chart that shows the evidence for 25 countries. Growth is up, emissions down.


September 3rd 2022

3,140 Retweets11,527 Likes

💰 Climate cash. If you are running a climate-related startup, here’s a handy resource for you: A map of global climate tech investors

💊 Women first in line for psychedelics. While trials are still progressing, early evidence is showing drugs ketamine, MDMA, and psilocybin mushrooms are especially effective at treating conditions like depression and substance abuse for women.

📺 Mickey Mouse and emotional regulation.
Two Columbia PhDs are teaching emotional regulation to young people with prompts to label emotions seen during their favourite TV shows on Disney+ and Netflix.

🦈 Cute Shark Week. Emma the tiger shark, an apex predator of the sea. not only recognises her diver friend Jim, but also swims towards him for head rubs.

🎨 Who needs creativity when… you have a viral post generator. Are you ready to go viral?

🎹 And finally: Sound on for this concert on rails

Further Reading

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