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75% of LGBTQ+ UK tech founders don’t feel safe sharing their identity

founders identity report
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A new report has found that 75% of LGBTQ+ founders in the UK tech industry and 80% of investors don’t feel safe sharing their gender and sexual identity with their peers.

The Proud Ventures founder identity report found that nearly half (45%) of LGBTQ+ founders thought their identity was unrelated, gave them a disadvantage (27%) or that it would damage any fundraising attempts (18%).

Henry Lane-Fox, co-founder and CEO, Founders Factory, said: “Recent research has shown us that concealment is a real tax on LGBTQ+ people. Academic studies have found increased concealment comes at a cost to an individual’s wellbeing with a greater risk of depression, anxiety, and poorer cognitive and physical health.”

It also found that 79% of LGBTQ+ venture capital (VC) firm investors did not disclose their identities to their work colleagues, with 26% stating that they would never share with fellow investors.

Founders that identified as gay were found to have secured a median of 2.25x extra in funding when compared with bisexual founders and 22x that of lesbian founders.

In the founder identity report, it found that trans founders raised 10x less and cis women founders raised 2.5x less than that of cis man founders.

“As a rallying cry for the VC industry to effect change, my hope is the report opens the door for under-represented founders, and builds a more inclusive community with a new generation of diverse talent launching and scaling the great companies of tomorrow,” said Sarah Finegan, an investor at Antler.

Out of all the investors that had declared their help for “diverse” founders only 33% demonstrated that they were supporting LGBTQ+ founders.

The report is asking investors to “publicly” show LGBTQ+ support, share pronouns, look at DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) metrics for funds, training and be more diverse in their investment teams.

Proud Ventures conducted the report with the help of Founders Factory and Investec Wealth.

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