If you look closely at photos of start-up teams, you often come across this observation: a group of young white men in their twenties. To change the picture, the French Tech mission released a “parity pact” at the end of May, which includes five commitments, including the creation of a joint group of speakers.
So far, almost 140 French start-ups have signed this charter. But the lack of parity isn’t the only pebble in French Tech’s shoes. Inclusion in the broadest sense (age, social and ethnic background, etc.) is ecosystem fishing.
According to a study conducted by the Diversidays association with Occurrence and PwC firms published exclusively by “Les Echos”, 39% of employees in start-ups say they have been victims of discrimination during their integration. and 40% say they have been victims. or witness discrimination in their duties. And this, while 81% of respondents have, at first glance, a good opinion of start-ups in terms of HR.
“Where is the hyperresponsibility? »
“There is a somewhat ambivalent side. On the one hand, start-ups have a very positive image and on the other hand, we notice that there is a definite between self in this environment “Says Anthony Babkine, co-founder of this association for equal opportunity in digital technology. Diploma level and age are the two main criteria considered to hinder the recruitment of start-ups.
“This apprehension is explained by the homogeneity of the profiles of the founders, who generally have the same background, same school. It is felt after their recruitment,” Anthony Babkine underlined. Start-ups that need to recruit in bulk, following a large fundraiser, are particularly affected by this phenomenon.
“We talk a lot about hypergrowth, but where’s the hyperresponsibility in all of this?” Anthony Babkine asked. Developing a more inclusive approach to recruitment would be possible to specifically respond to the talent shortage experienced by the ecosystem within. a few months, according to Chloé Sebagh, co-author of the study.
Review your inclusion policy
To improve the diversity policies of start-ups, Diversidays together with the Mozaïk Foundation created the movement of TechYourPlace, which brings together tech companies and venture capital funds around implementing great diversity and integration practices. Its members can access Mixity, a diversity and inclusion policy analysis solution. “Few start-ups are actively knocking on our door. It’s not a priority for them,” Anthony Babkine lamented.
Some well-known names in the ecosystem such as Le Slip Français, the diaper brand Joone or the anti-waste solution Phenix are among the members of TechYourPlace along with funds such as Serena and ISAI.
Some start-ups have taken up this problem by appointing diversity and inclusion managers, such as Contentsquare unicorn, who recruited Orly Lynn, to deal with these topics at HSBC in the United States.
YZR, a start-up that standardizes merchant supplier data, has implemented, since its creation, an inclusive recruitment policy. “It’s important to do this from scratch. When you start a start-up, you’re often recruiting people around you, which creates a huge filter”, explains Sebastien Garcinco-founder of the start-up founded at the end of 2019.
Right now, 50% of YZR’s workforce is female and the profiles are very different: employees are between 22 and 61 years old. “I don’t look at diplomas and I get a lot of people to retrain,” said the manager, who admits it sometimes produces positive discrimination, which can lead to questions for hire. “Some women question their legitimacy,” Sébastien Garcin admits. Even good intentions do not yield perfect results.