Gender and racial discrimination can be overcome by “sheer determination”, says government business tsar

Discrimination in the workplace and business can be overcome by “determination and passion”, according to multi-millionaire and government Start-Up Business Tsar, Baroness Michelle Mone.

Speaking to LEAD, she said that if people experience gender or racial discrimination, it is up to them as individuals to get over it.

“It doesn’t matter where you are from or the colour of your skin, or if you’ve been to university and left school at 16. It all comes down to determination. I know there are challenges for women, but there are challenges for men also”, she said.

“What are you going to do – just sit back and cry and complain about it?” she said. “I’ve experienced it with banks, retailers and lawyers, and I’ve always just got on with it and managed to beat them all. That’s what others should do as well.”

Baroness Mone’s comments were made during an interview about EQUI, a new business she has launched jointly with the venture capitalist, Doug Barrowman. EQUI is an $80 million cryptocurrency-powered investment platform that is billed as an opportunity to “democractise the venture capital sector”. It will allow individuals to invest as little as £100 in tech companies via cryptocurrencies.

The tech projects showcased on the platform will initially be chosen by an investment committee, but the aim is to eventually open this process up to the cryptocurrency community.

“We are going to invest in many different sectors – it is all-inclusive. We are not interested in gender, race, etc – but whether it’s a good proposition. It will be biased for tech projects rather than traditional manufacturing businesses, and projects will need to pass our investment criteria,” said Barrowman.

There will be no facility in place to prevent unconscious or conscious bias from influencing the decisions made by the investment committee, the founders confirmed.

According to the EQUI website, Baroness Mone is one of the UK’s most influential businesswomen and is a leading advocate for female equality in the workplace. Doug Barrowman is Founder and Chairman of the Knox group of companies which has funds under management and administration approaching £3 billion.