This is the code of conduct for Blackbird. Our goal is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for people who share our values of tolerance and inclusivity. To that end, we have adopted this code of conduct in order to support and welcome everyone to our community, particularly members of marginalised groups to our community, including people from marginalised racial or ethnic groups, women and non-binary people, sexual minorities including gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, and asexual people, disabled people, neurodivergent people, marginalised religious groups, higher weight people, parents and caregivers, and members of lower status (Marginalised Groups).
We recognise 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.
A code of conduct lists expected behaviour for people involved with an organisation, how to report behaviour that doesn't follow this code of conduct, and an outline of what steps the organisation, will take in response to reports of violations of this code of conduct.
This code of conduct is designed to be adapted and reused by other organisations. To that end, several sections allow you to choose which elements you'd like to include, or add new elements as you see fit.
Comments or behaviour that discriminates against, stereotypes, or harms members of Marginalised Groups. This includes but is not limited to:
Sexual harassment means any unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature which a reasonable person in the circumstances would find humiliating, intimidating or offensive. Sexual harassment doesn’t have to be repeated or ongoing. Sexual harassment takes many forms, from sexual comments to actual physical violence. Examples of sexual harassment include but are not limited to:
We strongly encourage everyone to report any violations of this code of conduct in writing to the Code of Conduct Committee. We expect people in positions of power to be especially conscientious in reporting any violations they see, with the consent of the marginalised person involved, as they are less vulnerable to retaliation or pressure than people with less power.
Community members can report violations by email to [email protected]
The code of conduct committee consists of:
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 2 business days, and to complete handling a report within 10 business days. Actions we may take in response to a report include:
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.
I joined Blackbird in September 2015 as their first employee. I am a recovering corporate lawyer (6 years sober!), was an early employee at SurfStitch.com and founded my own startups which went through the Startmate accelerator. I'm always open for a chat on twitter @holasammy or email [email protected]
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We naturally take far more notice of founders introduced to us by people we trust, whether they be founders we have invested in, angel investors we have co-invested with or people we have worked with. So please, try to network to find a warm introduction.
If you can't find a warm introduction, drop us an email at [email protected]