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Cisco Investments Diversity Report | Cisco Investments

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Cisco Investments Diversity Report

Cisco Investments Team

Diversity and Inclusion is no longer a “nice to have” business strategy. It’s a critical element to growing businesses and building an inclusive future. Companies of all sizes not only have a responsibility to implement and grow their diversity and inclusion programs, but to also be extremely knowledgeable about their diversity statistics across their organizations.

Diversity Survey – Our Methodology

To shine a light on the progress that startups in our portfolio are making towards creating truly diverse organizations, Cisco Investments launched a Diversity and Inclusion Survey. This initiative began in 2021 with the following goals:

  1. Track diversity and build awareness among our portfolio companies

  2. Measure the impact of diversity initiatives over time

  3. Identify opportunities for us to support our portfolio companies' efforts

Cisco Investments remains committed to supporting emerging companies' efforts to build organizations with diversity and inclusivity at all levels. This annual report will continue to shine a light on the progress next-generation enterprise technology companies are making to bring diversity and inclusion to their organizations and communities, as well as the challenges that lie ahead. 

Diversity is a critical business approach to generating better financial returns. In a report from the Kauffman Fellows Organization, diverse founding teams have been raising more VC money than non-diverse founding teams over the past 18 years. In fact, when comparing median funding amount, diverse founding teams raised 17% more at the Series B round and 60% more capital at the Series E round. The same report also found that diverse founding teams achieved higher returns on positive exits on average.

For us at Cisco Investments, we are committed to fulfilling the promise of powering an inclusive future. Our Diversity & Inclusion survey is part of our effort to help support next-generation enterprise technology companies achieve their goals and power an inclusive future. Cisco Investments' reporting is in accordance with the definition of diversity outlined by Cisco’s Purpose Report, where “diversity” is the percentage of Under-Represented Minorities (URM – African American/Black, Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native, Indigenous Americans, Latinx), persons of two or more ethnicities, and women that make up the leadership team.

In August of 2023, we asked our portfolio companies about the composition of each company’s senior leadership (founders and executives), as a proxy for the company as a whole. “Executives” were defined as people with roles Vice President and above to CxO. For our US portfolio companies, we requested a breakdown of ethnicity, gender and gender identity. Lastly, we asked whether each company had a formalized Head of Diversity role. We, then, overlayed other information about each company, including number of employees and technology domains.