To help CVCA members appreciate the full spectrum of topics on diversity and inclusion in our community, CVCA’s D&I committee has specially curated a Diversity Resource Library for you to explore.

Here, you will find articles highlighting key industry stats, benefits of a diverse workplace, how bias plays a role in our industry, ideas on strategies to fix diversity and inclusion issues, and more.


Plum Recruitment and staff management tool using Artificial Intelligence and Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Spark Hire Online video interviewing solutions for employers and staffing firms.
Managing Unconscious Bias Videos designed to help us recognize biases, so that we can reduce their negative effects in the workplace. Surfacing and countering unconscious bias is an essential step towards becoming the people and companies we want to be.
Google Bias Busting Workshop Course aimed at helping employees put awareness into action. Bias Busting @ Work is a scenario-based, interactive workshop where a facilitator hosts peer-to-peer discussion and role-playing around situations of unconscious bias. Participants are taught to identify these scenarios and effectively intervene.
Tech Diversity and Inclusion Post-mortem A collection of articles and company reports on diversity.
Diverst Diversity and inclusion software to help promote, engage and manage your workplace inclusion initiatives.
theBoardlist Marketplace where CEOs and their investors discover and connect with highly qualified, peer-endorsed women Candidates for their open board seats.
Parity Pledge Take the pledge: a commitment to simply interviewing at least one qualified woman for every open seat, VP and higher. No quotas. No deadlines.
VC Diversity Index Index of diversity in the US venture capital industry.
Leaky Tech Pipeline Research Library Additional library of research on each of the barriers an entrepreneur can encounter.
Diversio Diversio is a technology company that leverages data and machine learning to help organizations analyze, track, and improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Toolkit: Growth Untapped: Designing funding with an equity lens This toolkit is designed to break down barriers, gaps, and biases in funding processes, and offer recommendations at the macro-level (organization and culture changes) and the micro-level (immediate impacts). Read this report to help you: 1) Understand current experiences of equity-deserving groups accessing funding for growth in their businesses, 2) Apply actionable solutions at both a general and specific level, 3) Explore business case studies demonstrating the benefits of implementing an equity lens on funding opportunities in the ecosystem.

NEW Parental Leave Policy Template

Parental Leave Policy Template (EN)

CVCA, in collaboration with Canadian Women in Venture Capital (CWVC) and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), has developed a Parental Leave Policy Model Document. The purpose of this policy template is to comply with the laws of the main Canadian provinces where CVCA members have employees, namely Ontario, B.C., Alberta, and Quebec. This template is intended to encourage the recruitment and retention of diverse talent in private capital, by providing a customizable document that can be adapted to meet the specific needs of each member organization. It is important to note that members should seek the assistance of their legal advisors when editing and implementing the policy document.

Please note, the template presented is for informational purposes only and are not to be construed as legal advice for any particular facts or circumstances.

Model Documents

BDC Code of Conduct, Ethics and Values

The Code brings together information on compliance requirements and the principles of ethical conduct that underlay BDC’s business.

ILPA/BDC DEI Reporting Template for Canadian GPs - Updated 2023

The new tool builds on the global framework of the ILPA Diversity Metrics Template for capturing metrics related to gender, race, ethnicity, and identification in a way that aligns with the Canadian market. The template recognizes the need for more standardized and fulsome reporting on DEI metrics within private equity and venture capital firms as well as their portfolio companies at a time when many Canadian funds are embracing more inclusive practices.

Mentorship Programs

CWPE Mentorship Program
  • Mentee candidates seek guidance or advice from an experienced female leader in the industry in a safe, open and supportive environment.
  • Engaged mentor candidates willing to share their experiences, allow their hindsight to be another’s foresight and provide a confidential forum for discussion.
Reseau Capital
  • Encourage aspiring business women with interests in VC/PE in Quebec.
  • Listen to the issues and find solutions to challenges.


Nearly 90 per cent of Canadian VC investment deals since 2014 went to companies founded exclusively by men
The Logic
  • An analysis by The Logic of Canadian VCs found that 103 of the 884 publicly announced investment deals went to companies with at least one woman founder or co-founder. That amounts to just 11.7 per cent of investments.
  • The Logic identified the 18 most active venture capital funds and analyzed each investment deal the top 18 funds participated in and broke down their findings by firm.
Venture Capital, Social Capital and the Funding of Women-led Businesses
U.S. Small Business Administration

Study found that VC firms with long-term relationships that regularly invest together as a group (syndicated deals) with the same VC firms tend to invest in a higher percentage of Women-led Businesses (WLBs) - Study also found that the more autonomous VC firms, which co-invest with other VC firms that do not regularly co-invest with one another, tend to invest less in women-led businesses. - Lastly, VC firms that did invest in WLBs saw an improvement in their VC firm’s performance, which means that investments in WLBs are successful, leading to a positive return on the VC firm investments.

How Diversity Can Drive Innovation
Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Melinda Marshall & Laura Sherbin, Harvard Business Review
  • Companies with two-dimensional diversity out-innovate and out-perform others. Employees at these companies are 45% likelier to report that their firm’s market share grew over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.
Women Leading Venture 2019 Report
Different Funds
  • In-depth analysis of women venture capitalists.
  • Report finds that many women are starting their own VC firms rather working their way up the ladder in established firms.
  • Report finds that emerging managers have greater education diversity and more startup experience than their established firm counterparts.
The design of everyday men: A new lens for gender equality progress

3 Calls to action for leaders: 1. Recognize that the expectations we set for success are causing gender inequality. 2. Reflect on our own behaviors, particularly as business leaders, and how we are establishing expectations for what success looks like through our day-to-day actions. 3. Take action on breaking down the barriers to change.

Unlocking female talent in your organization: Women in Work Index 2018
Canadian insights – PWC

According to the Women in Work Index, Canada is ranked 10th out of 33 Organisation for Economic Co-operative Development (OECD) countries when it comes to five indicators: - Gap between female and male earnings - Female labour force participation rate - Gap between female and male labour force participation rates - Female unemployment rate - Share of female employees in full-time employment

Rewriting the rules for the digital age: 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends (2017)
  • Ensure that top leadership understands the importance of diversity and held accountable
  • Leaders should pursue changes in processes and systems
  • Use technology and data to identify problems and measure progress
  • Consider diversity and inclusion as part of the corporate infrastructure
Male and Female Entrepreneurs Get Asked Different Questions by VCs — and It Affects How Much Funding They Get
Harvard Business Review
  • Study found that 67% of the questions posed to male entrepreneurs were promotion-oriented, while 66% of those posed to female entrepreneurs were prevention-oriented.
  • Furthermore, study found that entrepreneurs who fielded mostly prevention questions went on to raise about seven times less than the entrepreneurs who were asked mostly promotion questions.
  • Posing a balance of promotion and prevention questions to men and women, investors grant all startups an equal chance to display their worthiness and may even improve their own decision making in the process.
Rating Global Cities’ ability to attract and support High Potential Women Entrepreneurs (2017)
  • The Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities) is a measure of a city’s ability to attract and support high potential women entrepreneurs (HPWE) i.e., women that want to grow and scale their business.
  • The rating has 5 pillars, divided into 2 categories: Operational Environment: Capital, Markets, Talent Enabling Environment: Culture, Technology
  • Top 3 Cities: 1. New York City, 2. Bay Area, 3. Boston
  • Toronto ranked 9th: ranks 3rd in Culture, 4th for related Policy, it also ranks 5th in Cost of Markets and 7th in Women’s Capital Base.
Spotlight on Building a Diverse Organization: Why Diversity Programs Fail, and What Works Better (2016)
Harvard Business Review
  • Common approaches fail; Your organization will become less diverse, not more, if you require managers to go to diversity training, try to regulate their hiring and promotion decisions, and put in a legalistic grievance system.
  • Companies with positive results apply three basic principles: engage managers in solving the problem, expose them to people from different groups, and encourage social accountability for change.
Inclusion Is Key to Keeping Canadian High Potentials (2015)
  • the more inclusion Canadian employees perceived, the less likely they were to report intentions of leaving their company.
  • To create an inclusive work environment, leaders must exhibit four behaviours: Empowerment: Enable direct reports to develop and excel. Accountability: Demonstrate confidence in direct reports by holding them responsible for performance they can control. Courage: Act on convictions and principles even when it requires personal risk-taking. Humility: Admit mistakes. Learn from criticism and different points of view.
Where’s the Dial Now? (2017)
Move the Dial
  • Canadian Tech Company Benchmark Report:
  • 5% of Canadian tech companies have a solo female founder.
  • Including companies with female co-founders, the percentage increases to 13%.
  • 5% of Canadian tech companies have a solo female CEO
  • Including companies with female co-CEOs, the percentage increases to 6%.
  • Women comprise 13% of the average tech company’s executive team, while 53% of tech companies have no female executives at all.
  • On average, only 8% of directors on boards of Canadian tech companies are women. 73% of boards have no women at all.
  • Approximately 30% of Canadian venture capital firms have a female partner, and on average, 12% of partners are women.
State of Startups 2017
First Round Capital
  • 78% of female founders said they’ve been or know someone who’s been sexually harassed, compared to 48% of male founders.
  • Female founders’ top solutions:more women VCs and pressure from limited partners to prevent bad behavior (tied with blacklists publicly calling out offenders). Male founders’ top solutions: sensitivity training and more media coverage of incidents when they occur.
  • 5% of startup boards are all male.
  • 51% of startup teams are mostly male.
  • 2 out of 3 women founders say their gender hurt their ability to fundraise.
  • 17% of founders say they now have a formal plan at their company to improve diversity and inclusion.
Outcomes over optics: Building inclusive organizations (2017)

Found that actions taken by many firms to date in the areas of diversity and inclusion have delivered more optics than outcomes.

Five Actions to Build an inclusive organization

  1. Set expectations for specific, inclusive leadership behaviours
  2. Protect against a diversity backlash
  3. Empower the “Inclusion Generation” to prepare for the future of work
  4. Don’t leave future inclusion issues for future generations to solve
  5. Own inclusion inside and outside the office
Directors' Playbook (2017)
Canadian Gender and Good Governance Alliance (CGGGA)
  • 39% of TSX-listed companies still have no women on their boards
  • Conditions for achieving diversity on boards:
    • Clear & intentional leadership
    • Clearly stated diversity objectives
    • Board recruitment from a wide range of networks
    • Inclusive and safe environment
Everywhere, Every Day Innovating: Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation Report
Centre for Research and Education on Women and Work (CREWW), Carleton
  • Study found that women entrepreneurs are innovating across all sectors and in all their diversity
  • Report recommends methods to boost the ecosystem, such as encouraging women to become entrepreneurs, access to capital, training, inclusive networks, accelerators and incubators, readily accessible childcare, freedom from sexism, ageism and racial discrimination
2018 Women in Tech Report
  • Study found that young women today are 33% more likely to study computer science compared with women born before 1983.
  • However, women are by far more likely to be in junior positions than men…regardless of age. In fact, over 20% of women over the age of 35 are still in junior positions.
  • Women over 35 are 3.5x more likely to be in junior positions than men.
The Surprising Bias of Venture Capital Decision-Making
Rob Bueschen, TechCrunch
  • Investors are inherently biased, and intuition alone cannot consistently drive good decisions.
  • Biases which affect investors include: Similarity Bias, Local Bias, Anchoring, Information Overload and Gender Bias.
  • How to develop awareness into biases and improve decision making: Create a concrete process rather than relying on simple heuristic analysis.
Women in tech: the new numbers are out!
Duncan Stewart, Deloitte
  • The percentage of women in US IT jobs rose in 2017 was 24.48%
  • The percentage of women in IT Management roles rose year over year: from 25.5% to 28.6% in 2017.
  • Despite a LOT of companies trying to hire and retain more women in IT roles, the needle really isn’t moving.
Women in Venture: A baseline look at gender in the Canadian investment ecosystem
Female Funders & Hockeystick
  • Study found that only 14% of partners at Canadian VC funds are women.
  • 84% of the dollars committed to funds are controlled by funds with no women GPs.
  • Only 14% of an average angel group’s membership are women.
Where Did you Go to School?
Richard Kerby, Equal Ventures
  • Found that the demographic breakdown in the venture capital industry is about 18% female in 2018.
  • Found that 40% of venture investors have attended Stanford or Harvard.
  • When you couple the lack of gender and racial diversity with the lack of educational institution diversity, you not only end up with teams that look similar, but you also end up with teams that think in a similar fashion. Not only is our industry lacking in gender and racial balance, but we also suffer from a lack of cognitive diversity.
Delivering through Diversity (2018)
McKinsey & Company
  • Found that companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation.
  • Companies in the top-quartile for ethnic/cultural diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability.
  • Overall, companies in the bottom quartile for both gender and ethnic/cultural diversity were 29% less likely to achieve above-average profitability than were all other companies in the data set.
Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital
The Diana Project
  • Report provides the first comprehensive analysis of venture capital investments in women entrepreneurs since the original Diana Project research conducted in 1999.
  • Report found that women entrepreneurs have made important progress in obtaining venture capital since 1999. During 2011-2013, more than 15% of the companies receiving venture capital investment had a woman on the executive team vs 1999 where women-led companies received less than 5% of all venture capital investments.
    • However, 86% of all venture capital–funded businesses have no women at all in management positions, and more than 97% of venture-funded businesses have male CEOs.
Who Gets Venture Capital Funding? (2016)
Laurie Meisler, Mira Rojanasakul and Jeremy Scott Diamond
  • The vast majority of venture capital goes to companies founded by men. Just 7% of the 2,005 founders on the list are women.
  • Companies founded by women also get less money—an average of $77 million compared with $100 million for male-led startups.
Advancing women as leaders in the private sector
Canada-U.S. Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders (2018)
  • Found that for every 100 men who reach the manager level or above, there are just 53 women in Canada and 65 women in the U.S. who reach those levels.
  • In Canada, women hold 21.6% of board seats in the Financial Post 500 companies. Women hold 19.9% of board positions at S&P 500 companies in the U.S.
  • Further, the report finds that despite the commitment to advancing women, many companies across Canada and the U.S. are lacking clear goals, the ability to measure progress or accountable leaders to drive progress.
The Curb-Cut Effect
Angela Glover Blackwell, Stanford Social Innovation Review
  • Study explaining the positive effects from cutting curbs for the general public and not just for people in wheelchairs.
  • Study explains, when the nation targets support where it is needed most—when we create the circumstances that allow those who have been left behind to participate and contribute fully—everyone wins.
  • The curb-cut effect underscores the foundational belief that we are one nation, that we rise or fall together.


Are venture capitalists really biased against women? A new experiment yields surprising results
Brett Arends
  • Professors sent out 80,000 investment pitches via email to 28,000 VCs and “business angels” across the country.
  • Investment pitches from the likes of “Mary,” “Meghan” and “Melanie” received 8% more expressions of interest than those from the likes of “Michael,” “Matthew” or “Mark.”
  • The results in the Gornall study do not mean there is no discrimination, or even that women face a level playing field. But the results of the latest experiment do raise questions about current conventional wisdom.
Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter
David Rock & Heidi Grant, Harvard Business Review
  • Diverse teams are more likely to constantly re-examine facts and remain objective. They may also encourage greater scrutiny of each member’s actions, keeping their joint cognitive resources sharp and vigilant.
  • Culturally diverse leadership teams were more likely to develop new products than those with homogenous leadership.
Why We Must Have Zero Tolerance for Sexual Misconduct (Venture Capital Edition)
Mark Suster
  • As VCs we find ourselves in power relationships in nearly every interaction we have, which means we need a much higher standard of accountability for our actions.
  • When you’re in a power situation you must be extra conscious not to use your power in ways that are exploitative but where you feel you might be able to get away with it.
  • As men you must call out bad behavior when you see it or know about it. In an industry with only 7% of partners at VC funds being women — it falls on men to speak up.
Dear Investors: So You Want to Take Diversity Seriously (Part 1)
Mitch & Freada Kapor
  • Recognizing the biases in the room is the first step to overcoming them.
  • Increasing diversity within your own firm:
    • Develop a diverse talent pool, identify new networks for sourcing, value varied experiences, focus on key job responsibilities and measurable skills needed — not proxies.
Top Women Investors Are Answering the VC Boys' Club With One of Their Own
Claire Zillman, Fortune

Jess Lee, Sequoia Capital’s first U.S. female investing partner, is launching Female Founder Office Hours—a series of events at which investors will talk with and advise women entrepreneurs in one-on-one sessions.

When it comes to closing the gender funding gap, there's no silver bullet
Anthony Mirhaydari, Kate Clark, Pitchbook

Venture investing is qualitative by nature. To reap the benefits provided by female-run companies, be conscious of your implicit biases in investment sourcing and view the risks and opportunities presented more clearly.

Venture capital firms have a gender problem. Here’s how to fix it
Michelle McBane, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, StandUp Ventures & Lauren Robinson, Highline BETA, Female Funders

To have multiple perspectives at the table, it’s vital that more women reach investment decision-making roles in VC firms. For this to happen, we need to do four things: - VC firms must put gender-balance front and center in their recruitment, particularly for senior positions. - Limited partners need to add a layer of due diligence around promotion and investment in women. - Engage and educate more women executives on angel investing. - Invest in female entrepreneurs.

How women and millennials will redefine ethical investing
Christie Stephenson, UBC Sauder School of Business
  • In Canada, women’s share of private wealth is expected to more than double from $1.2-trillion to more than $2.7-trillion by 2024.
  • Millennial investors are 65 per cent more likely than their boomer parents to look at environmental and social concerns, as well as who is running the companies, when making investment decisions.
  • Companies might want to start sharpening their “social purpose pitch” to express how they create value of a different kind for stakeholders, and for the greater society.
Female Founders & Funders: Four Women from Four Canadian VC Firms on How We Level the Playing Field
Erin Blaskie, L-Spark
  • A conversation with Danielle Smith (ScaleUP Ventures), Katie Paterson (Espresso Capital), Nicole Kelly (OMERS Ventures), and Kate Grant (Information Venture Partners) in lead-up to International Women’s Day 2018.
  • Share their insights on the topic of female funders and founders and how they level the playing field.
6 Hidden Biases of Early-Stage Venture Investors
Ron Shah, Bizly

There are several hidden forces facing an entrepreneur who is raising early stage funds in the form of biases: Place-ism, Group Think, Tribesmanship, Selection Bias, Confirmation Bias and Bandwagon Bias.

M12 announces $4 million global competition for women entrepreneurs
Microsoft News Center
  • M12, Microsoft Corp.’s venture fund, in collaboration with the EQT Ventures fund and SVB Financial Group, announced the Female Founders Competition, seeking to accelerate funding for top women-led startups focused on enterprise technology solutions.
  • Two winners will share $4 million in venture funding, as well as access to technology resources, mentoring and more.
Leading as VCs, educators, and employees
Project Include
  • VC firms should require their portfolio companies to commit to set and achieve diversity targets.
  • VCs are uniquely positioned to encourage founders to address diversity and inclusion during the particularly crucial early stages of a startup.
Bringing Diversity to Venture Capital
An Interview with Lolita M Taub

Last year 91% of venture capital funding went to men. McKinseyobserves that companies with racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns that are above national industry medians. If you ask me, these men are leaving money on the table. They’re robbing their investors of an opportunity to maximize returns.