“Addressing Sexism in Australian Tech & Investment”: hundreds of leaders unite to produce crowdsourced resource

“Addressing Sexism in Australian Tech & Investment”: hundreds of leaders unite to produce crowdsourced resource

Hundreds of Australian tech leaders have contributed to a new crowdsourced resource, ‘Addressing Sexism in Australian Tech & Investment’, containing solutions for sexist discrimination, bullying, harassment, abuse, and assault. 

The resource contains a compilation of industry codes of conduct, methods of reporting, and enforcement measures from prominent groups and individuals such as Blackbird, the Australian Investment Council, Southern Angels, and ANDHealth Operations Director, Jenna Polson. 

It explains the extent of the sexism problem, why companies and individuals can struggle to speak out against the issues, the cost of inaction, and the characteristics of the technology industry that can make it particularly susceptible to sexism. 

Its creation was spearheaded by Human VC founder, Elaine Stead, and supported by climate, tech, and finance PR agency Third Hemisphere. The intention is for the resource to be a “living” document that will be added to as new approaches and solutions are offered up by additional sector leaders. 

Elaine is now calling for any diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) specialists, more Australian VCs, and other tech sector leaders, to contribute their expertise to the resource in a bid to achieve group momentum and critical mass in tackling the issue as an industry. 

Elaine Stead, Founder of Human VC, said, “When we put out a public request for input to this industry-wide resource, many people proactively asked ‘how can we help?’. Yet in the ensuing forty-plus conversations we had, it became clear that many tech sector leaders had no idea how to address the problem, and weren’t aware that they were contributing to the issues themselves in various ways.  

“Many companies were also notably small with limited resources, time, and training to deal with the issues, even if they had the best of intentions. So we wanted to lower the barriers to entry for avoiding and addressing poor behaviour, by making a one-stop-shop of pre-existing resources available to any interested party, free of charge.” 

Hannah Moreno, Founder & Managing Director of Third Hemisphere, said, “I applaud every individual and organisation who contributed their time and expertise to this resource, and to the many conversations that informed its contents. An industry-wide problem needs an industry-wide approach to finding a solution. It also shouldn’t fall solely to victims to solve an issue they didn’t create. 

“We will continue to see an escalation of very public action on sexism in this, and many other, industries moving forward. Getting on the front foot and joining this movement is not just the right thing to do: it is the best way for companies and individuals to avoid being penalised by the public, media, and capital markets.” 

If you are a leader in the Australian investment and technology sectors and would like to contribute to the evolution of this resource, please use this google form to tell us your thoughts or contribute content.