New Venture Fund Statement on JustLeadershipUSA
February 5, 2018
On February 2nd, the New York Times ran a story about Glenn Martin, the former head of JustLeadershipUSA, regarding allegations of sexual harassment. Before becoming an independent organization, JustLeadershipUSA was a project of the New Venture Fund (NVF).
NVF did not initially respond with specifics of what happened because of confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements. We fully support our former employee who has chosen to tell her story publicly at this time. Subsequent media reports and online commentary made assumptions and statements that are inaccurate. The following statement addresses those inaccuracies.
At the New Venture Fund, safety and equity are core values. As such, we have comprehensive HR policies and invest considerable resources to ensure our employees are free from harassment and discrimination in all forms. NVF also has a clear reporting process in place should anyone abuse our employees’ rights.
This was the case with Glenn Martin, the former head of JustLeadershipUSA. During its initial startup phase, NVF fiscally sponsored JustLeadershipUSA. When Glenn Martin was accused of violating our HR policies, NVF had a swift response, in accordance with our reporting processes.
NVF took the steps that were consistent with and aligned with the needs of our former employee. We immediately launched a full investigation and provided her with financial support as she requested. NVF also agreed to keep the details of the situation confidential.
Without conclusive evidence of guilt or innocence by Mr. Martin, NVF followed plans that were already in place for Mr. Martin’s employment at NVF to end. He, and the JustLeadershipUSA project, left the New Venture Fund two weeks later and became their own independent organization. Because of the confidentiality agreement that was in place, we were unable to disclose information about the allegations to the new organization’s board.
As more industries—including nonprofits that are in the business of positive social change—uncover the hurtful, damaging, and unlawful underbelly of sexual harassment and assault, NVF is examining our policies to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect the employees of our projects.