GV principal Terri Burns was asked for her observations on fostering diversity and inclusion in tech, and reasons for optimism. Below is a transcript of the conversation that originally appeared in TechCrunch.

GV principal Terri Burns GV principal Terri Burns

What are the industries you're most interested in right now?

Early consumer companies (and in particular, social) will always be an interest of mine despite the consumer landscape changing rapidly. Enterprise collaboration tools also stand out right now: This moment, which will last a while, will continue to unlock a lot of innovations around how enterprises enable communication and productivity.

What are you looking for in your next investment?

We're a generalist firm, and as such are happy to look across industries and sectors for great companies. The most important common denominator for me are smart, product-oriented teams that are building quickly and thoughtfully.

What are some overlooked opportunities that are ripe for innovation?

We've spent some time thinking about the future of cities, and the many ways that the private sector is uniquely positioned to drive urban innovation. In particular, there are a ton of inefficiencies around housing, transportation, food and security, which leave me super excited to learn about innovative startups that are broadly looking to innovate in these spaces.

I choose to remain hopeful; it's the optimist in me. It's too early to tell just how meaningful any of this change will ultimately be, but I think we're off to a solid start.

What's diversity like at your firm?

Tyson Clark and I are both Black investors on the investing team at GV (80% of VC firms have no Black investors), and the team is looking to diversify in a number of different ways. We recently hired Candice Morgan as Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Partner focused on creating inclusive strategies for GV and its portfolio companies, and helping the firm expand diversity across the entrepreneurs it funds.

What do you think about the role of venture capital in the lack of diversity in tech?

Venture capital certainly plays a role. VC is a tool that can enable businesses to scale greatly and quickly, and historically, this tool hasn't been equally distributed. For example, VC has traditionally focused on founders from a small number of institutions and pedigrees that are not particularly diverse (in 2016 we learned from Richard Kerby, general partner at Equal Ventures, that 40% of VCs went to either Harvard or Stanford). With more equal distribution of funds across backgrounds, underrepresented people will have a greater chance at success.

How can VCs help foster diversity and inclusion in tech?

The simple answer is to invest in and hire underrepresented talent. The way to do this will look different for every firm, but some options include: actively sourcing new entrepreneurs outside of traditional networks, partnering with funds that focus on diversity, supporting portfolio companies in developing DEI programs and policies early on, diversifying board of directors, etc.

What is your advice to founders who are navigating COVID-19 amid a racial justice uprising?

Take care of yourself and your community! That's always of the utmost importance. From a venture/pitching standpoint, my advice would be to explicitly acknowledge how macro these events are impacting your team and business, and how you are responding. Everyone and every company is being impacted in some way. It's more helpful to address that head-on.

How optimistic are you that recent, heightened attention on Black Lives Matter will lead to meaningful change in the industry?

I choose to remain hopeful; it's the optimist in me. It's too early to tell just how meaningful any of this change will ultimately be, but I think we're off to a solid start.

—This post originally appeared in TechCrunch.