Carnegie Mellon University

Candice Morgan, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Partner, GV

Starting Up with Equity and Inclusion

Investing is a profession that requires innovation and diversity to thrive, and Candice Morgan (DC 2004) is making venture capital and the startup ecosystem a more inclusive place. In her role at GV (Google Ventures), Candice builds inclusive hiring and investing strategies within the company and plays a significant role as adviser to the organizations it’s funding.

“For me, it comes down to: how are we hiring, and who are we funding?” Candice says. “Ultimately, the goal is that both of those groups are highly diverse, and there aren't barriers to access to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Having the funding and the means to bring innovations to fruition shouldn’t depend on your background or who you are.”

Candice’s role is unique from other diversity and inclusion roles because most are focused on making an impact for their single employer, but Candice works with GV’s entrepreneurs as well. With more than 300 companies in GV’s portfolio, bringing diversity and inclusion to venture capital means funding to founders across all backgrounds. In 2020, GV invested approximately $250 million with underrepresented founders and CEOs. This is critical because in 2021, despite a record-breaking year of venture funding, fully women-led teams received just 2% of capital, and Black or American Latinx-led companies received just 1% each.

Furthermore, when GV invests in a company, they offer financial support and company-specific guidance on a variety of topics — with Candice’s team on board, this now includes equity, diversity and inclusion from the start.

“We are focused on equity within our portfolio. So that means advising our founders, CEOs and their teams on how to build in equity across their businesses — from the composition of their leadership teams and their boards to their customers and how to make their products inclusive,” she says.

Candice’s work with GV companies has spanned advising on diversity in clinical trials, adding board candidates from diverse backgrounds, consumer products to represent more diverse skin tones and inclusive AI strategies in enterprise company software.

“There's no end to inclusion and equity work as it stands right now,” Candice says.

Story by Elizabeth Speed