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Mantis VC is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups in the technology sector. In an industry that is stereotypically dominated by white men, Mantis makes it a point to separate themselves from that stigma by offering equal opportunities to under-represented groups through their hiring process, addressing the UN's SDG of Gender Equality.
Finance can be an intimidating and competitive industry, especially for women and other marginalized groups aiming to establish themselves. Furthermore, even if these individuals manage to enter the field, there is no guarantee that they will receive equal treatment and recognition compared to their male or white counterparts. However, Mantis VC, established in 2019, has taken a different approach.
One particular initiative that distinguishes Mantis VC from other companies is Mr. Evans' hiring policy. Despite being a Co-founder and General Partner, Mr. Evans personally handles all the hiring decisions for the company, recognizing the significance of making the right choices. Mr. Evans has implemented an innovative policy that requires at least 50% of the candidates interviewed for a position to come from underrepresented groups, which includes considerations of gender, race, and ethnicity, among other factors. One thing Mr. Evans stressed is that the reason for this policy is not just for the sake of saying that they are a progressive company, but rather, a means of creating the largest hiring pool possible in order to find the best candidates available.
While this policy may not appear revolutionary on its own, its potential impact, if widely adopted by other companies, could be substantial. I firmly believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity and that no one should be excluded from job opportunities based on their race, gender, or culture. Mr. Evans shares this belief and is committed to providing a fair chance for all.
Before our interview, having a personal connection with Jeffrey Evans, I had some assumptions about the reasons behind his progressive stance on workplace diversity and gender equality. I speculated that his experiences at home might have influenced his approach at work. However, I soon discovered that while my assumption was partly correct, it was not entirely for the reasons I anticipated.
When I asked Mr. Evans about his sources of inspiration for promoting diversity and equal opportunities, he simply attributed it to his upbringing, stating that he "learned everything from it from his mother" and that he was raised with those values. His mother, Gail Evans, is a renowned author, lecturer, and the highest-ranking female executive at Cable News Network. She is best known for her books "Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman" and "She Wins."
Being raised in such an environment enabled Mr. Evans to grasp the significance of diversity and equality from a young age, giving him a head start compared to others who had to acquire that understanding later in their careers.
Gender equality and diversity initiatives have the potential to bring significant positive impacts to women and other marginalized groups. By creating a more inclusive and equitable work environment, these initiatives empower individuals who have traditionally faced barriers and discrimination. While it may be difficult to precisely quantify the effects within Mantis VC, as the company is relatively new and has been practicing gender equality and diversity since its inception, we can explore the broader benefits of such initiatives.
In the short term, gender equality and diversity initiatives can lead to immediate improvements in the workplace. By actively promoting diversity in hiring and ensuring equal opportunities for all employees, Mantis VC can tap into a wider pool of talent, bringing in fresh perspectives and ideas. Different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives contribute to a richer and more comprehensive understanding of complex problems, leading to more effective solutions. Over the long term, gender equality and diversity initiatives can help break down systemic barriers and biases. By actively working towards equal representation and inclusivity, Mantis VC can contribute to broader societal change. When companies demonstrate their commitment to gender equality and diversity, it sets an example for other organizations, fostering a culture of inclusion and encouraging them to implement similar initiatives.
The positive impact of gender equality and diversity initiatives extends beyond the workplace. It can create a ripple effect, influencing other industries and sectors. By supporting women and marginalized groups, Mantis VC can contribute to narrowing gender and social gaps, promoting economic growth, and driving positive social change.
In our modern society, diversity and gender equality are commonly acknowledged as important principles to uphold in the workplace and beyond. Ideally, one would expect that most people share this viewpoint. However, as Mr. Evans astutely pointed out, "There is no value in merely claiming to be diverse or equitable without genuine intention." For Mr. Evans, diversity and equality are not just acts of goodwill or charity; they are strategic decisions aimed at improving business and the company as a whole.
Having been involved in successful ventures across various industries such as music, entertainment, technology, and finance, Mr. Evans revealed that his true passion lies in "being surrounded by intelligent and driven individuals." This passion is precisely why, despite his role as a co-founder and partner of the firm, he personally handles all the hiring. He considers it the most critical aspect of his responsibilities.
It's not just empty words for Mr. Evans; he consistently demonstrates his beliefs through action. A glance at the Mantis VC company website reveals the prominent role women play in the company's operations. Mr. Evans genuinely believes that embracing diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and thinking styles is the key to success in any business endeavor. This conviction has undoubtedly contributed to the remarkable success of his fund.
Gender equality plays a crucial role in promoting societal advancement and economic growth. When women have equal access to education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities, it leads to increased productivity and innovation in all facets of society. Closing the gender gap in the labor market promotes fairness, justice, and dignity for all individuals, and fosters a more inclusive and well-rounded society, where every person has the freedom to thrive and contribute to their fullest potential. In addition, it can unlock trillions of dollars in global GDP and can stimulate the economy even beyond the point It is now. By tapping into the talents and skills of both men and women, societies can harness a diverse range of perspectives and ideas, which fuels creativity and drives sustainable economic progress.
In addition, closing the gender gap sets the standard for future generations moving forward. Children growing up in an environment that values and practices gender equality are more likely to internalize these values and perpetuate them in their own lives. This theory is proved by the way that Mr. Evans turned out, and the way he conducts business. As mentioned previously, he grew up in a household where gender equality was instilled in him by his mother from a young age, and now he is able to put it into practice with his businesses.
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Jeffery Evans, Co-founder/Partner
Mantis VC is a venture capital firm based in Santa Monica, California. The firm seeks to invest in early-stage technology companies operating in financial technology, emerging markets, artificial intelligence and machine learning, gaming, software as a service, infrastructure, and crypto & blockchain sectors.