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There is no denying that diversity and inclusion is on the mind of all organisational leaders worldwide. In the heights of a pandemic, we were reminded how important unity is as social movements were finally given the attention they rightly deserved. Whilst we can probably all agree we are moving towards a more connected world, the data suggests that there’s still a long way to go.
In 2021, there are no sectors in the UK that pay women more than men. People with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani-sounding names are 28% less likely to be invited for an interview than candidates with English-sounding names. Nearly 1 in 10 LGBTQ employees have left a job because they found the work environment uncomfortable and unwelcoming. A third of school pupils in the UK are from ethnic minority backgrounds, but only 20% of teachers felt that these groups were ‘represented’ in the content taught in schools.
Cat Wildman and Nic Ponsford, co-founders of Global Equality Collective, find themselves within these statistics as for every £1 of venture capital investment in the UK, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Meanwhile, between 2016 to 2018, female founders saw a decline in funded equity deals, dropping by 4%. This is despite the fact that female-founders are twice as likely to successfully exit than their male counterparts. In 2019, 21 unicorn companies were female-led, together making up 14.8% of all new unicorns within that year. Female-founder funding is a topic close to our hearts at Seedrs which led us to support the #overbeingunderfunded movement.
Whilst the solution to this can seem simple – hire a Head of Diversity & Inclusion or get a third party to train organisations – for many businesses and schools, it can be overwhelming and prohibitively expensive and they end up doing very little. That’s where Global Equality Collective comes in.
Wildman and Ponsford found each other on Twitter in 2017 and quickly bonded over their shared mission to make moving the needle on diversity, equality and inclusion more accessible and easier to approach. After three years of research and app development, they launched a digital D&I framework via an app last September. To date, GEC has signed up 64 schools and 37 businesses whilst growing an online community of over 14,000 people. Today their customers include Westminster City Council, Amadeus and Naked wines – and both multi academy trusts and individual schools. GEC has been able to achieve this with zero budget for marketing or PR.
What was once a costly expense has been packed into an annual-fee subscription, with schools only paying a small registration fee, and requires just 30 minutes a year of employees’ time to give their yearly input.
Equality is now at the top of the list for Americans and their values in their behaviour and decisions. With the rise of social issues being pushed on organisations to accept responsibility and share alliance, there’s finally the right amount of pressure to make sure they stick to their word and follow through – whether that’s in the boardroom or the classroom.
Global Equality Collective are raising £190,000 to expand what is already a profitable yet socially-focused business. With this funding they plan to build on their existing platform to cover all protected characteristics of the Equalities Act (2010) plus socio-economic status and single parents. Funding will also be applied to the creation and development of custom-made GEC Masterclasses and training covering topics like conversations about racism, closing the race and ethnicity pay gap, the neuroscience of sex and gender, transgender awareness, LGBTQ+ history, and men and equal parenting. Lastly, they’ll invest in building out their team including salaries for an administrative professional, the co-founders and full-time sales. The remaining funds will be put towards marketing and PR.
GEC is bringing a scalable and simple solution to a complex problem which meets the needs of everyone. You can find the information about their pitch here.