SAN JOSE, Calif. – Despite the recent national outcry over the tech industry's lack of diversity, a new LinkedIn study found that most entrepreneurs and investors don't consider the issue a priority.
More than half of investors surveyed said that an entrepreneur's commitment to diversity was the least of their concerns when deciding whether to fund a company, according to the nationwide survey of more than 600 LinkedIn members. And 70 percent of start-up founders said their company has no program in place to increase employee diversity.
The results, released earlier this month, show that while the absence of women and minorities in tech is frequently addressed in panel discussions at industry conferences and in media Op-Ed pieces, for the people with the power to implement change — such as the investors shaping future Facebooks and Googles — the issue remains on the back burner.
"LinkedIn's data confirms how broken today's venture capital establishment is," Ellen Pao, co-founder of Silicon Valley diversity initiative Project Include, wrote in an online post the same day the LinkedIn study was released.
Women make up 7 percent of entrepreneurs who receive venture capital funding, according to Bloomberg.
Pao helped catapult that problem into the spotlight last year during a high-profile gender bias trial against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. She lost the case, but the trial highlighted the tech and VC industries' high concentrations of white men.
Some investors and tech companies are making strides.
Last month Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley's most prestigious venture capital firms, hired Jess Lee as its first U.S.-based female investing partner. According to LinkedIn's study, white male founders and investors often are unaware of the barriers their more diverse colleagues face.