TechCrunch has been running a program called Include for a while now. In its first phase, it offered diverse entrepreneurs, founders, organizations focused on inclusion and technologists a variety of benefits like monetary support and free or discounted tickets to our Disrupt events.
Last year, we announced Include 2.0, the next phase of our diversity program, which brought office hours, events like our Women in Tech(Crunch) events surrounding Disrupts and new Include grants. We also have an Include board, which includes Charles Hudson of SoftTech VC, Aarthi Ramamurthy of Lumoid and Tracy Chou of Pinterest, as well as our own Battlefield Editor Sam O’Keefe and Editor-in-Chief Matthew Panzarino.
Today, we’re announcing a great new home — our Include Hub — for our variety of initiatives that will help reinforce how important we believe diversity is to the tech industry.
Diversity is central to TechCrunch’s mission. We believe everyone, regardless of background, should have access to the immense possibilities of the tech world, and, at the same time, we are confident technology businesses will benefit from a more diverse workforce. TechCrunch’s Include program aims to promote diversity by applying resources uniquely available to TechCrunch, including our editorial and events platforms, and by exemplifying the diversity mission in TechCrunch’s own staffing and culture.
Our new Include Hub provides a collection of the stories published on TechCrunch that are related to diversity, a directory of upcoming events and a reading list of material from outside of TechCrunch.
This is also where you’ll see our schedule of office hours, which help underrepresented founders to meet with and talk to top VC firms that may not be in their network — or vice versa. Past participants include firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Accel. Upcoming office hours will be hosted by General Catalyst, Emergence Capital and Sequoia — check the events section for more information.
There is also a directory of fantastic organizations in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and London that work with underrepresented groups in a variety of ways. If your organization is not listed in our directory, let us know and we’ll add it.
This year is the first in which we are also giving out an Include award at our annual Crunchies award show. You can see interviews that our diversity reporter Megan Rose Dickey is conducting with the nominees here on TechCrunch — along with much more of her great work on the topic.
This is just the beginning of our efforts to make Include a core part of what we’re about here at TechCrunch. Over the next year, we will be publishing data on the diversity of our events, our staff and our coverage. This transparency is step one to ensuring that the tech community accurately reflects the diverse nature of the world in which it, and we, live.
We welcome feedback and encourage conversation on this new initiative, it’s going to be a learning process for us, but an important one.