inclusion

Women-owned businesses on the rise, but still lag in revenue, employee totals

The number of women-owned business has increased significantly in recent years, but more needs to be done to level the playing field to increase the revenue and employee counts of these businesses, according to two recent studies. More venture capital is needed, as well as mentoring, training and opportunities for women of color.

Focus on inclusive ecosystems to build entrepreneurship and growth

A new report from the Kansas City Federal Reserve and Opportunity HUB (OHUB) reveals the importance of building an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem. Authored by Dell Gines of the Kansas City Federal Reserve and Rodney Sampson, chairman and chief executive officer of Opportunity Hub, the report examines how entrepreneurship ecosystem building has lacked an emphasis on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Degree requirements dropped as equity sought in workplace

At a time when higher education degrees are both under scrutiny and lauded, one county government in Colorado is experimenting with an initiative that has eliminated degree requirements for more than 80 positions. It wasn’t the value of the degree that prompted the move, but the question of equity and wanting to achieve a more inclusive workforce. While such moves are rare, similar efforts may blaze the way to new workforce requirements and advancements and help inclusion.

Kapor Center, Gates Foundation launch $1M grant competition to diversify tech sector

The Oakland-based Kapor Center, a nonprofit focused on leveling the playing field in tech, has announced the Tech Done Right (TDR) Challenge with funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With an emphasis on growing opportunities for women and people of color in the sector, the challenge will fund organizations with innovative solutions to building diverse, inclusive, and thriving tech ecosystems. Awardees will receive one-time grants beginning at $100,000. The challenge is now open and accepting applications here, with a submission deadline of Tuesday, May 7.

$350M initiative to help prepare for future of work

JPMorgan Chase has announced a new $350 million, five-year global initiative intended to meet the growing demand for skilled workers. The New Skills at Work investment will support community college and other non-traditional career pathway programs. It focuses on creating economic mobility and career pathways for underserved populations, as well as helping to forecast emerging skillsets for JPMorgan Chase employees.

Fed study shows little progress in integrating women into executive positions

A recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis showed that women’s increased participation in the labor force has not led to a correspondingly greater participation of women in the highest executive positions at the organizations where they work. In fact, the study showed that women are significantly less likely to lead U.S. businesses than men are, and that this share has remained largely unchanged over the 2000-2014 period.

Racial wealth divide: Why being neutral is not enough

How likely would you be to leave your current job to form a startup if you had $3,600 in the bank? Would your interest increase if you had $147,000? While neither amount is enough to scale a business, the latter case obviously affords more cushion to learn the ropes or absorb the impacts of a few missed paychecks. These amounts are the median wealth for black and white households, respectively, according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies. While the report does not directly look to entrepreneurship as a factor — nor, notably, as a solution — the implications for regional innovation economies are clear.

Moving the needle in a positive direction in the innovation economy

Bringing the innovation community together and examining how it has advanced — or how it hasn’t — is one of the driving goals of SSTI’s annual conferences. This year we brought together thought-provoking leaders to help reflect on whether stakeholders in the innovation economy are moving the needle in the right direction.

Cohorts and other strategies to help individuals from underrepresented groups graduate with STEM degrees

While diversity plays a critical role in both improving the quality and increasing the rate of innovation, women and several minority groups remain underrepresented in STEM fields. Several studies find that improving the retention rate of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM at the college level can have significant impacts on improving the diversity and representativeness of the STEM workforce. For women and other underrepresented groups, the college experience can create unique roadblocks and barriers that ultimately cause them to switch majors or even leave college. Several recent studies have examined strategies to improve the retention rate of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM degrees at institution of higher education. The strategies range from pre-college STEM academies to establishing cohorts of underrepresented students.

Women hold only 9 percent of equity value in their startups, report finds

While women comprise approximately 33 percent of the combined founder and employee workforce at startup companies, they hold just 9 percent of all equity value in those companies, according to The Gap Table from Carta – a software platform for managing startup equity and ownership. The new report was based upon capitalization table (cap table) data from more than 6,000 companies with a combined total of nearly $45 billion in equity value. The cap table is a list of owners of a company and includes information about the percentages of ownership, equity dilution, and value of equity in each round of investment. The researchers found that:

  • Women make up 35 percent of equity-holding employees, but only hold 20 percent of employee equity; and,
  • Women make up 13 percent of founders, but hold 6 percent of founder equity.

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