Everyone is included. Diversity is wonderful, but without inclusion it leads to nothing more than a collection of different people. The benefits of diversity only materialize when all those different people work together, when different thoughts come together, different opinions are heard, different voices communicate. That's inclusion, making sure diversity works. Inclusion is making use of differences. Indeed, it is encouraging the expression of those differences. Inclusion is necessary to bring out the power of diversity.
What do we do @NOM?
In 2020, we committed to #FundRight. By signing this diversity statement, we promised to only invest in startups whose management team consists of at least 35% women. #FundRight was drafted by Techleap.co.uk #FundRight aims to improve access to funding and opportunities for women entrepreneurs. The idea behind it is that investing in female-led companies will help raise the overall level of startups in the Netherlands. We wrote an article about this which you can read here. With the signing of #FundRight, diversity is a permanent topic on our agenda.
Event, whitepaper and webinar
In late 2020, we organized an event from the #FundRight umbrella. We also noted, during internal conversations about this subject, that #Fundright is a link in a much broader context. Diversity and inclusion go further. As so beautifully put: Diversity is about being invited to a party and inclusiveness is about also being allowed to dance at this party.
We wanted to include others in our thoughts and thats why we wrote a white paper on the subject. A whitepaper for both investors and entrepreneurs. Investors because are in regular contact with them as part of our work. Entrepreneurs because we want to help them with their growth plans and offer them tools with which they can implement diversity and inclusion within the organization.
In June 2021, we hosted a webinar titled "Diversity & Inclusion; should I be doing something about it?'. The webinar shared tips for promoting diversity and inclusion. Because despite numerous studies showing that mixed teams perform better, there is still too little focus on diversity. This is also true in the world of startups and funders. For example, over the past twelve years, about ninety percent of the growth money spent in the Netherlands went to startups with only men at the helm.
Stop Talking, Start Doing!
We are taking steps but at the same time we do not have all the answers. That's why we started talking to inspiring players in the northern ecosystem. We spoke with entrepreneurs, investment managers, ecosystem developers, educational institutions and policy makers. Together with them we developed a Toolkit based on the idea: Stop Talking, Start Doing. In the toolkit you will find the tips and tools you need to use diversity and inclusion as a means to promote creativity and innovation and increase the success of your business.
Change starts here. Start doing! Check out the D&I toolkit.
NOM vision on diversity & inclusion
We have articulated our vision of diversity & inclusion as follows:
"To us, it doesn't matter where you were born, what you believe in, how old you are, who you love or whether you are distant from the job market. Above all, we are curious about you. Your story and the path you want to take. We would love to help you on that road towards growth. This can be personal growth as well as professional growth.'