Philly Startup Community, Here’s Why You Should Take This Diversity and Inclusion Survey

Open Access Philly wants to use data to help the innovation community do more to bolster diversity, equity and inclusion.

At PSL’s 2nd annual Diversity Dinner, which addressed the community’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

Philadelphia’s startup community has ways to go on the diversity and inclusion front, and following last year’s various community gatherings around the issue, stakeholders have come together to develop the “Open Access” Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Benchmark Survey.

An initiative led by an Open Access Philly team (Paul Wright, Tiffanie Stanard, Jeff Friedman) in collaboration with Philly Startup Leaders (Kiera Smalls, Prasanna Krishnan, Bob Moore), Guru (Chris Anderson), Mogulette (Brigitte Daniel), and Media Bureau Inc. (Benjamin Barnett), is looking to collect, analyze and share what they’re calling the city’s first-ever, dedicated DEI Data and Information Set for the startup community.

With the survey, organizers hope to create a baseline of Philadelphia’s startup community according to race, gender and sexual identity. In turn, the information could help the community determine “the most impactful, actionable issues to address, and provide targeted resources to the community to enact meaningful change,” organizers wrote in a memo.

This means the group wants basically everyone in the Philadelphia startup ecosystem to participate in the survey.

Specifically, if you’re a founder, executive, employee, investor, board member, advisor or vendor that’s connected to the startup community, you should take the survey, which is now live here.

“Our goal is to provide every organization with the tools they need to constantly improve their acceptance, and application, of DEI values, which will help them become more valuable; and every policy-maker with the understanding they need to help our innovation community thrive,” said Open Access Philly’s Paul Wright, in a statement.

In addition to the survey, the coalition also plans to launch a series of small workshops this fall for founders, startup executives, board members and investors to focus on DEI best practices. The group would ideally wants at least one senior representative and significant stakeholder of every early stage company in Philadelphia to participate in at least one workshop.

And with the results from the survey and data collected from the workshops each quarter, OAP plans to analyze the information to “discover insights for short, medium an long-term actions,” according to the memo.

Community members can then access the findings, resources, workshop notes and feedback at a dedicated digital home at, once the page is updated.

To spread the word about the survey, organizers suggest using #PHLDEISurvey on social media. Right now, there’s no deadline to complete it, but organizers stress that everyone in the community participate to impact our DEI outcomes.