Australian startups now have a code of conduct

June 25, 2018
By Nicholas Beames
  • A new a Code of Conduct for Australian startups.
  • Created by a group of venture capitalists who have adopted it as their own.
  • The code includes rules about discrimination, sexual harassment and other Unacceptable Behaviours.

A group of venture capitalists has created a Code of Conduct for the Australian startup community. Blackbird Ventures, Startmate, Airtree Ventures, Square Peg Capital, Rampersand and Blue Sky Venture Capital have been working to draft the code in collaboration with San Francisco-based diversity and inclusion expert Valerie Aurora.They’ve all adopted the code and invite others in the Australian startup community to do the same.“This is just a starting point,” writes Blackbird in a blog post.“We hope to version it over time and improve on it with the input of others in the community.”The code includes rules on discrimination, sexual harassment and other unacceptable behavioursAirtree says everyone in the startup community is driven by the same mission — to help grow Australia’s tech community into a thriving and creative ecosystem.“But we also know that to succeed as a community, we need to make sure that everyone is invited along for the journey,” says Airtree.“We need the participation and inclusion of people of all backgrounds, races, genders, identities, religions and ideologies.“We’re working hard to increase diversity and inclusion across the board at Airtree — at our events, in our portfolio, in our investment funnel and in our own team.“We’re working to identify and eliminate unconscious bias from our investment and hiring decisions, and we’re also measuring these efforts to keep us honest.“We also think that startups are hard enough as it is. Founders and early employees are already twice as likely to struggle with depression and mental health issues than the general population. Harassment or bullying makes this much, much worse — it can literally destroy lives.”