Completely agree with @NKjellson at Canaan. Every one of my colleagues at Calibre One strives to build diversity into our candidate slates, whether we're asked to or not. That's because our job is to solve business problems for our clients by expanding their networks and presenting a slate of great solutions based on skills and potential. Falling back to risk aversion in hiring can reinforce strategic blind spots.
Engage a search firm. Companies have a tendency to deliberately avoid retained search. Leveraging existing networks and championing frugality are VCs’ mandates, but if your network is just more people like you, that’s not going to help diversity. When the pressure to fill slots mounts and there is no diversity strategy, the risk of default-to-dude through known networks is high. Search firms, by contrast, are stepping up the diversity game, expanding and curating the growing databases of female talent.