Diversity VC announces new leadership team
Ladi Greenstreet and Daisy Onubogu have taken over the leadership of Diversity VC, as CEO and COO respectively.
The new leadership team was selected following a competitive application process using blind hiring platform Applied, and were assessed by independent VC and technology professionals.
Diversity VC has been led by a group of volunteers from the venture capital industry since its inception in 2016. Continuing in this tradition, Ladi currently leads Accenture’s Open Innovation program in the UK and Ireland; and Daisy is Backed VC’s Head of Network and Community. As communicated last year, co-founders Check Warner (CEO), Lillian Li and Travis Winstanley (Head of Research), are remaining close to the organisation, taking roles on the Diversity VC Counsel and Advisory Board.
The current focus of the new leadership team is on expanding the team and partnerships base, with ambitious plans to significantly scale the organisation. It is this scale that will make new key initiatives possible and take the research arm, Future VC internship programme, Diversity Standard audit and our other initiatives to new heights.
Greenstreet says: “Diversity VC started with a simple aim: to make venture capital a fairer and more inclusive industry. Given Venture Capital’s outsized impact on the economy, and role in the promotion of innovative new companies, it seems reasonable that a more inclusive and equitable VC industry could spur a more inclusive and equitable society. Moreover, as numerous studies have shown, diversity of talent in VC should also increase company and industry performance. And yet, Venture Capital is still a sector with one of the most homogenous workforces in the world.
"I am proud to be joining the Diversity VC team in 2021. We will redouble our efforts to promote a more open, accessible and diverse innovation community – we are aiming to consolidate and grow our community, make it easier to access resources, expand our impact globally by entering new ecosystems, and we will keep growing our team of inspiring individuals.
As we’re growing the team and professionalising our infrastructure, we’re also refining our ideas on the best initiatives to apply our increased resources to. There’s so much more to be done with The Standard and Future VC in particular, and indeed elements of the fight for DE&I in this ecosystem that we do not yet have initiatives for at all”
Onubogu says: “We are so excited for this! While the specifics of our respective career paths have been quite different, the unifying theme has been a commitment to ‘lead meaningful change’. When you grow up as we have you cannot escape a sense of responsibility. To be aware that the system around you was built to your disadvantage, and to understand that you’ve escaped a worse fate thanks to the hard work of activists and leaders who came before, instills a strong need to continue that work. We’re so delighted to have an opportunity to focus our energy on addressing inclusion and ethics in the Venture Capital Industry. By uniting the cause we care most passionately about with the industry that has the greatest potential to facilitate change, we hope to create long-lasting impact at scale.
"Over the last six years, Diversity VC has established itself as the go to organisation for data, resources, education and much needed lobbying in service of improving DE&I in venture capital. Through reporting, The Standard, and Future VC it highlights the problems, and practically supports the ecosystem in solving them. We’re going to ambitiously build on that foundation. What most excites me is how much appetite there is in this ecosystem to be a part of this work. Many people, in particular young emerging leaders, are desperate to reshape the system around them for the better, even as they work towards their own personal success. Diversity VC is poised to be a conduit for all that energy and allow people to contribute to the change they want to see. Ladi and I have been on something of a ‘Listening Tour’, engaging with former partners, sponsors and graduates from the Future VC programme, to gather knowledge and feedback. Honestly the energy has been incredible. People are fed up, embarrassed even at the state of DE&I in this industry and are keen to do what it takes to see exponential progress.
"We’re keen to hear from more people! Anyone with whom this resonates can reach out to Ladi and I to add their perspective, recommendations or put themselves forward to join the organisation and the movement. There are some specific open roles now they can apply for, like our Data Lead Coordinator, but they should feel free to reach out in general – we have found something for everyone we’ve talked to so far. This army is growing and all who believe in progress are welcome!”
Greensreet is Accenture’s Open Innovation Geographic lead for UKI, a program that bridges the gap between large organisations and the startup ecosystem. As a former secondary school teacher, with a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, he currently works across all industry verticals and technology domains to provide innovation at scale.
Onubogu works for Backed VC, a European Seed investor championing a human-centric approach to investing. In her role, Daisy is responsible for the network and communities that support Backed in its mission, as well as Backed’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in investment. She has long been working on tackling the systemic issues for underrepresented founders alongside organisations like YSYS, 10X10 and prior to her new role, also Diversity VC.
This new inflection point comes in a period of success for Diversity VC. Over 50 firms have been assessed, or are awaiting assessment, for The Standard in across both Europe and The USA, with 32 achieving certification so far. Future VC, Diversity VC’s internship programme, is launching in the USA this year.