Denver-based startup Mentor Spaces announced the closing of its $2.5 million seed funding round. The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact led the round, with participation from several others.
Mentor Spaces launched in 2020 in order to bring more diversity into the workplace. Countless companies pledged to do better in their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts last year. But saying you’ll do something and actually doing it are two separate things. Underrepresented groups can be excluded from the workplace not because the intent to hire them isn’t there, but instead because of what Mentor Spaces calls the “network gap.”
As Mentor Spaces points out, research shows that location, education and prior employment can make a person 12x more likely to be given a certain opportunity. Because of this, marginalized groups must work much harder to secure the same opportunities as non-marginalized folks, or risk remaining on the margins.