Launched in 2018, the Equality Impact Awards honor the contributions and leadership of women and allies that are changing historically, and often notoriously, unequal industries.
The awards are given to both women and allies in tech, retail and publishing who are breaking glass ceilings, fighting for equal pay, championing diversity and inclusion and ensuring that the workplace is better for themselves and those who come after them.
Today, we honor one of our 2019 winners, Jeff Richards, Managing Partner at GGV Capital. Jeff answered 5 questions about the state of equality in the industry. Take a look!
1. If you could tell 16-year-old you one thing, what would it be?
Think big. Open doors. Work hard. Be nice to others. Live in as many places as possible before you are 30.
2. What was your dream job when you were just starting your career? How has that dream evolved?
I wanted to be an entrepreneur and CEO. My career has followed a lot of twists and turns, but that dream has largely played out. I honestly believe one reason is I had a clear goal.
3. What does gender equality mean to you?
Talent is equally distributed; opportunity is not. Let’s change that. It won’t happen overnight, but it will if each person in a position of power – an investor, CEO, founder, etc. – makes a few changes every year. It can happen.
4. Who is one person in your industry who has inspired you in your fight for equality? How have they done so?
There are many. A few: Jenny Lee (GGV), Shivani Siroya (Tala), Mauria Finley (Allume), Kass Lazerow (Buddy Media), Elisa Steele (Namely), Erica Schultz (New Relic), Hilarie Koplow-McAdams (NEA), Sarah Friar (Nextdoor), Aileen Lee (Cowboy), Jennifer Holmstrom (GGV), my three daughters.
5. What’s one concrete next step that others can take to promote equality (of any sort) in the workplace?
As a male, take a step forward and be specific about it. For me, this means specifically seeking women founders to invest with, specifically seeking to hire women into key roles, and specifically working with founders to add female board members and executives. The “averages” won’t change if we aren’t specific with our intent.