At Balderton, our mission is to work alongside, and invest in, Europe’s best entrepreneurs as they pursue their ambitions to build global disruptive technology businesses. But a mission is nothing without the right values and principles, which define who we are and how we go about our business.
Respect, Equality, and Ethical Conduct are three overarching principles that guide us as a firm and as people, and which all Balderton employees and partners aspire to and abide by when signing a statement confirming they will adhere to this Code. We also encourage the entrepreneurs we work with to understand the benefits of these principles and to adhere to the same standards in their own businesses.
If you become aware of any instances involving a Balderton partner or employee that breach our Code of Conduct, whether internally at Balderton or as we interact with the wider community in which we operate, you should report the incident by following our Complaints Procedure. If in any doubt, please raise any concern with our Managing Partner or Operating Partner.
We respect each other at Balderton and believe respect for people is essential to a positive working environment and for us to continue to be the successful firm we are today. That means we all have a shared responsibility to maintain a safe environment of mutual respect and to eliminate any form of harassment within our firm. We will therefore not tolerate any instances of racial or sexual harassment, discrimination or assault. It also means any type of bullying and unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct which violates a person’s dignity or creates a hostile working environment for them will not be tolerated.
We feel particularly compelled to emphasize our zero-tolerance approach to any form of sexual harassment. Balderton recognises that sexual harassment can be a manifestation of power relationships, so can occur within unequal relationships: for example, between someone at a Venture Capital firm and an entrepreneur seeking funding; or between a senior and more junior member of a team.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel offended, humiliated, or intimidated. It includes situations where a person is asked to engage in sexual activity as a condition of employment, circumstances which create an environment which is hostile, and actions which are physical, verbal and non-verbal. Below are some examples:
Verbal or Gender Harassment: Inappropriate comments about physical appearance or personal life, including degrading sexual or sexist remarks, innuendos and jokes.
Propositions: invitations or advances including repeated requests for dates, drinks or personal contact, including condescending remarks or inappropriate sexually-themed communication in person or online.
Coercion or Bribery: Using job related threats or rewards to solicit sexual favours. This could mean requests for sexual activity or silence about harassment in exchange for reward such as funding, referrals, future employment, promotion or invitations to exclusive events.
Assault: Any unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature, including patting, pinching, stroking, hugging, kissing, fondling or inappropriate touching. Also physical violence, including sexual assault.
Non-Verbal Conduct: display of sexually explicit or suggestive material. Sexually suggestive gestures, leering.
Any incident of sexual harassment should be reported immediately in accordance with the Balderton Complaints Procedure. All complaints will be taken seriously and promptly investigated, in confidence.
Balderton is an equal opportunity firm and we will always make decisions based solely on merit and business needs. We are committed to providing a work environment that is free of any form of direct or indirect discrimination of any kind, including on the basis of race, colour, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, medical condition, national origin or marital status.
Discrimination is not only prohibited, but goes against the very core of our values and will therefore never be tolerated.
Of course, discrimination may take many forms, but some of the most common examples include:
Verbal: unwelcome jokes, slurs, negative stereotyping, or remarks about someone’s colour, physical characteristics, appearance, nationality or religious beliefs.
Visual or written: offensive pictures, emails, notes, or any other written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of their race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age or physical state.
Decisions: making judgements based not on ability or suitability, but instead allowing bias (for example in the areas referred to previously) to influence and prejudice a decision.
Balderton is committed to ensuring that it conducts all its activities according to the highest standards of professionalism, business conduct and ethics. As part of this, employees and partners must always behave honestly, fairly and with integrity in the workplace. Our business is conducted in strict observance with laws and the integrity of each employee and partner is of the utmost importance.
This means all employees and partners must avoid any circumstances in which their private interest could be at the expense of Balderton’s own interests. This would include instances of private gain, to advance personal interests or obtain reward for themselves, friends or family. Transparency means any conflict of interest must always be reported through the appropriate channels as soon as it arises: if in doubt you should contact the Managing Partner or Operating Partner.
As a firm, we frequently receive information that is confidential and provided to us on the basis of trust. We must never abuse that trust so all confidential information in the possession of employees and partners relating to any business, or the firm itself, must always be kept strictly confidential and not communicated in breach of confidence. There are also specific rules in place regarding trading of public securities which are notified to all our employees and partners and which we expect them to strictly adhere to.
Link to the Balderton complaints procedure.
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