Ventures Workertech newsletter: September 2021 The latest update from Resolution Ventures 1 October 2021 by Emma Selinger Emma Selinger In a recent interview on diversity in innovation Bayo Adelaja, CEO of Do It Now Now said, “If we are going to build a world that is truly fit for purpose, we need representation of everyone who is going to be engaging with it.” At Resolution Ventures, one of the groups we want to work with and create impact for is workers lacking voice and representation, and those at greater risk of discrimination. Our Low Pay Britain 2021 report found that 19% of ethnic minority employees were in low-paid work, with over a quarter of that group on insecure contracts. So in this edition, we’ll be sharing Workertech solutions that are already seeking to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, along with resources that will help the Workertech ecosystem become more diverse and inclusive itself. On that note, we’re pleased to announce our most recent investment in Hera, a women’s pension platform supporting women in low-wage work to save for their future. Hera is currently participating in BGV’s Tech for Good programme. As always, if you have any suggestions for our newsletter or want to know more about any of the content, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. Emma Ventures Manager Resolution Ventures Workertech for diversity and inclusion In 2019, the ethnicity pay gap averaged 2.3%, with particular ethnic groups experiencing a gap of up to 16%, and even larger discrepancies for women. In response, we’re starting to see tech-based initiatives to improve access to higher-paid roles for typically underrepresented groups. Here’s a few examples of solutions in this space: CareerEar – a platform helping career-seekers from underserved communities to make career choices and prepare for the future of work. MyKindaFuture – an employee platform supporting underrepresented talent to excel at work and feel like they belong there. Include.io – a jobs board for diverse talent in the tech world to advance their careers while being visible and valued. TransCanWork – a US-based non-profit curating a transgender talent pool and connecting them to employees to advance inclusion in the public and private sectors, while also offering resources and consultancy to employers seeking to make their workplaces more inclusive. And another 20 Workertech tools to boost diversity and inclusion at work. Tech communities for diversity and inclusion To succeed in addressing issues around equitable access to work and increased pay, we need diverse founders to bring different perspectives on problems and solutions. Yet only 1.7% of VC investments made over the past decade have been to all-ethnic teams in the UK, and only 10 black female founders received investment in the same period. There’s a long way to go and here are some communities, networks, and funders supporting founders from underrepresented groups in the tech and start-up world: Foundervine – a start-up network running accelerators, bootcamps and fellowships for diverse entrepreneurs seeking to grow their business. This is YSYS – a start-up community dedicated to connecting diverse people with opportunities in tech. Since 2017 YSYS has helped over 17,000 diverse people advance in tech, with a mission of reaching over 100,000 people by 2023. Common Call – a £300,000 grant fund to support black-led charities and social enterprises in the UK, powered by open innovation organisation, Do It Now Now. LGBTQ+ in tech – five LGBTQ+ communities working towards making the start-up space more inclusive. And another 120 diversity in tech communities in Europe curated by Sifted. Latest insights from the Resolution Foundation Job Well Done – As the Job Retention Scheme comes to an end this spotlight reflects on its success and lessons learnt. It ensured that the worst recession for 300 years saw the smallest rise in unemployment of any recession in living memory, but highlighted that protection is needed both to prevent workers from labour market shocks, and also to help stabilise the economy as a whole. Work experiences – This paper explores the subjective experience of work to provide a snapshot of the changing realities of employment since the 1980s. The experience of work for low-earners has deteriorated at a faster rate than for those who earn more, paving the way for Workertech to help address these issues. Labour Market Outlook Q3 2021 – This review examines the surprising recovery of the labour market and the prospects for unemployment in the months ahead once the Job Retention Scheme comes to an end. Workertech stories Data scientists at Nesta have built a methodology to identify green jobs from labour market data to support the transition to the green economy. In the hands of careers advisors, or skills matching platforms, this data solution could integrate with Workertech to improve working lives and build a greener economy. USA based fund, WorkRise, has announced its 2021 funded projects that accelerate economy mobility for workers. Particularly relevant to Workertech is an initiative seeking to understand how task assignment for low-wage workers can spur wage growth through bridging to higher level tasks. The Learning and Work Institute published their Better Work Audit which examines the quality of work in London over the last decade. The report shows a mixed picture. While there has been a reduction in temporary and zero-hours contracts in the capital, fewer employers are providing development opportunities, and more people are not paid enough to achieve a good standard of living. Researchers at the University of Southampton and Lancaster University are working on a project, FlipGig, looking at how digital technology can be designed to empower couriers to fight unfairness, challenge unfair models and algorithms in platform courier work, and develop new models that put fairness and sustainability at the core. The Future of Work Accelerator in New Jersey announced their first cohort earlier this month. Participants are working on innovations to promote worker rights, safety and lifelong learning. Workertech projects include a driver-owned co-operative, a gig worker benefit platform and a gamified upskilling app for manufacturing workers. Get involved Apply for direct investment from Resolution Ventures. We accept applications from Workertech ventures on a rolling basis. Or you can book a slot in our office hours for an initial conversation. Join the Workertech meetup group, a network of people working in the sector. In the autumn we’ll be hosting a series of events for this group investigating technology and a fairer world of work. Register for Ufi’s Week of VocTech 15 – 19 November. Our Director of Ventures, Louise Marston, will be speaking on panel session Financing the VocTech solutions of the future on Thursday 18 November. Missed our most recent Workertech event? Watch a recording of Can tech boost worker power? where we were joined by Prospect Union and Unison to discuss how technology can improve working conditions.