Our goal is to create a welcoming, inclusive environment for people who share our values of tolerance and inclusivity. We have adopted this code of conduct in order to support and welcome everyone to our community, particularly members of marginalized groups, including people from marginalized racial or ethnic groups, women and non-binary people, sexual minorities including gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, and asexual people, disabled people, neurodivergent people, marginalized religious groups, higher weight people, parents and caregivers, and members of marginalized groups.
We recognize that the power relationship between investors and the people they may invest in is heavily weighted in favour of the investor, similar to the employer/employee or teacher/student relationship, even when no investment has been made (yet). As such, we are especially aware of the potential for abuse or harm by the more powerful person, the investor or anyone who influences the investment decision. We encourage investors to take into account this imbalance of power in all of their interactions with founders and be especially careful to avoid using their power to coerce the founder, intentionally or unintentionally.
We are all stewards of FundRx values. Our culture follows us wherever we go. We expect all employees and Venture Partners of FundRx to work and interact in a professional and welcoming way that is consistent with our values. Our expectations also extend to limited partners, venture fellows, coinvestors, entrepreneurs, vendors, independent contractors, interns, volunteers, event speakers or representatives, and others.
FundRx may take action against a person based on other information or behaviour outside the community if, in our judgement, there is an unacceptable risk to its membership from that person.
What is Discriminatory and Harassing Conduct?
Discrimination is unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people. Harassment is unwanted and unwelcome words, deeds, actions, gestures, or behaviors that make someone feel uncomfortable. The following conduct, depending upon the circumstances, may constitute discrimination or harassment, including for observers:
- Slurs, jokes, statements, remarks, questions or gestures that are derogatory or demeaning to an individual’s or group’s characteristics or that promote negative stereotypes;
- Visual displays (including photographs, cartoons, and drawings) of suggestive or degrading images or stereotypes of any individual or group based on protected characteristics;
- Limiting opportunities to work on certain assignments on the basis of, for example, race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, disability or sexual orientation especially when these decisions have a negative impact on earnings, development or career progression;
- Unwelcome sexual jokes, language, epithets, advances or propositions;
- Written or verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
- Sexually degrading or vulgar words to describe an individual;
- The display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, posters or cartoons;
- Unwelcome comments about an individual’s body;
- Asking questions about sexual conduct;
- Unwelcomed touching, leering, whistling, brushing against the body, or suggestive, insulting or obscene comments or gestures;
- Persistent unwelcome flirtations or unwelcome physical contact, including continuing to express personal interest after such interest has not been reciprocated;
- Demanding sexual favors in exchange for favorable reviews, assignments, promotions, or continued employment, or promises of the same;
- Retaliation for reporting or threatening to report harassment; and
- Communication via electronic media of any type that includes any conduct that is prohibited by state and/or federal law or by FundRx policy.
Sexual harassment does not need to be motivated by sexual desire to be unlawful or to violate this policy. For example, hostile acts toward someone based on gender can amount to sexual harassment, regardless of whether motivated by sexual desire. If an interaction is welcome, consensual, or reciprocated, it is generally not considered sexual harassment.
Prohibited harassment is not just sexual harassment but harassment based on any protected category.
To minimize the risk of conflicts of interest and promote fairness, if an employee enters into a consensual relationship that is romantic or sexual in nature with another employee, they must notify their supervisor. Supervisor will review the situation and may construct a new reporting relationship for performance reviews and compensation if the relationship is between an employee and a member of his or her staff (an employee who reports directly or indirectly to him or her), or if one of the parties is in a supervisory capacity in the same department in which the other party works. The supervisor will monitor the situation in an on-going basis to assess for general comfort within the department and organization as a whole.
Community members are encouraged to report incidents of harassment or discrimination, either formally or informally, and can be assured that they:
- Will be heard and taken seriously
- Will be protected from retaliation
- Will be given options and informed of next steps and potential results of each option
- Will be connected with resources
In all options above, FundRx may have a duty to report if the situation seems imminently dangerous or if the person may do harm to themselves or someone else. This may be the case if there are multiple reports against someone.
Community members can report violations by email to [email protected], for review by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The Committee consists of: Gurdane Bhutani, COO, Managing Partner, and CoFounder; and Megan Beck, Associate.
If the person who violated the code of conduct is on the committee, they will recuse themselves from handling that report. We aim to acknowledge reports within one business day, and to complete handling a report within 10 business days. Actions we may take in response to a report include:
- Verbal warning
- Training and education
- Temporary ban from certain spaces or forums
- Permanent ban from certain spaces or forums
- Removal of responsibilities (e.g. replacement of the investor director or board observer from the board)
- Termination of employment or community access
- Report to legal authorities
If possible and appropriate, we will make a statement about the report and any actions we took available to everyone who is aware of the original incident. We strive to protect reporters or targets from retaliation whenever possible.
We are grateful for the following groups who helped shape our policies: Kapor Capital, Blackbird Ventures, MovingForward, National Venture Capital Association, Foundry Group, Venture Inclusion Network, Techstars, and SheWorx.