A group of venture capital firms are publicizing their sexual harassment policies, some for the first time, as part of a new directory co-led by one of the women who publicly accused a VC of harassment.
On Thursday, about forty firms are publicly spelling out their policies or identifying their point of contact for human resources complaints as part of a new initative called MovingForward. The creators claim they encouraged several venture capital firms to release or even create entirely new sexual harassment policies that didn’t exist before.
There is reason, though, for skepticism: More than half of the firms are not publicizing their external policy — so beyond publicly stating their point of contact for misconduct allegations, those firms are merely stating that they believe in the group’s mission — which, unfortunately, isn’t saying much — who formally isn’t opposed to harassment?
And most firms are only saying they will offer their policies upon request and have yet to create a public URL with the governing policies. It is unclear if that information will be available to media or other interested parties.
The venture capital industry, like other corridors of power, has been rocked over the last year by allegations of sexual misconduct that forced several powerful men out of their funds. Most venture capital funds do not have human resources departments, and even if they have an internal policy that defines and punishes harassment, it generally has only applied internally to their firm — not to the entrepreneurs that they interview and fund.
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