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Diversity at Stodzy
This morning, I read Fred Wilson’s blog post on diversity in VC.
It was interesting timing, because diversity within the workplace is something that I have actively been working on. I figure I have 2 options. I can stay quiet about the insecurities, or I can talk about it. By discussing the difficulties I’m having, I hope that people will understand and be more receptive to open dialogue.
Here’s the Deal
I need to be more proactive in racial diversity. We created our staff page the other day, and I was embarrassed to see that my entire team was white people. I admit, I haven’t given it much thought until I saw my entire team staring back at me.
Almost all of my employees were recruited out of Boca Raton FL, which is a predominantly white community. I suppose there is an argument to be made in the defense of my current hiring process that says “we can’t control who applies to work at Stodzy.”
And that might be true.
But at this point, I think the reality is I need to be purposefully diversifying my team. Not because I believe in equality of outcome (I don’t), but because I believe there is a competitive advantage to having different viewpoints in the workplace.
It’s also the right thing to do.
It’s Been More Difficult than I Thought
There’s no other way to say it, most of the people who work in the internet marketing field are white people.
So what do I do? Do I go around asking friends if they know any “non-white” people who want to work in an entry level position at a high end internet marketing firm?
Do I make a post on Twitter?
“Hey… are you a person who isn’t white? DM me. I'd like to talk to you about a job position.”
I’m chuckling about a bit, but that’s only because I’m uncomfortable.
I want to get this right.
I Found a Potential Solution
A few months ago, the team at The Hustle invited to a mastermind conference for people who were building 7 figure media companies. In that conference, I met a young man named Michael Berhane, who founded a company called People of Color in Tech.
I went to his site this morning and I discovered a job board. I submitted a job opening. When my job opening gets accepted, I will also have access to the board of open applicants.
There are many diverse applicants out there. There are talented people all over the country. It’s up to me to be proactive in the process.