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Joelle Emerson, left, and Noreen Farrell. Photo of Farrell by Chuck Revell

More Than a Pledge: Using the Law to Combat VC Sexual Harassment

By and  |  July 14, 2017 10:00 AM PDT
Photo: Joelle Emerson, left, and Noreen Farrell. Photo of Farrell by Chuck Revell

There seems to be an unending list of examples of sexism and bias in the venture capital industry. Whether it is the latest news of widespread harassment and subsequent “apologies” from harassers, or the longstanding pattern of female entrepreneurs struggling to get funding (and women of color receiving virtually none), it’s clear the industry needs to change.

Indeed, many in the venture capital world have gotten behind the idea of a VC-developed code of conduct as an informal means of protecting founders from investor sexual harassment. Others have supported Reid Hoffman’s #DecencyPledge which calls for VCs, LPs and entrepreneurs to hold the venture capital industry accountable. Implicit in both approaches is the assumption that good behavior in the founder-investor relationship must be voluntary because it isn’t required by law.

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