VCs Draft Code of Conduct to Battle Sexual Harassment

A group of roughly 30 venture capitalists are drafting a “code of conduct” for members of the industry that will set clear standards for unacceptable behavior—such as sexual harassment of founders—and will outline penalties for violators.

The proposed code will demand that venture capital firms establish “retaliation-free” reporting channels for women who experience sexual harassment. The group plans to present it to the National Venture Capital Association, the trade group for the VC industry, by Sept. 30. The code also suggests that the NVCA create a list of “good actors” and “bad actors” in the venture capital industry, with the “bad actor” designation in part determined by whether a firm mistreats women or minorities.

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“They feel it’s not their role,” she said. “They all privately agree, they just don’t want to offend people by saying they care.”

The ILPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment last week.

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