Often when I first mention “diversity” to a tech CEO, I get either a deer-in-headlights look, or an assurance that they support STEM programs for poor kindergartners. Please continue to support the pipeline — remember, those kindergartners are your future employees and customers. However having a diverse workforce NOW gives you an advantage over your white-washed competitors.
How? Well, firstly: the demographics of the country (and world) are changing to the point that in order to scale, it’s crucial for any company looking to go public and/or be bought to have staff members with deep intelligence in the “New General Market”. Coined by Jeffrey Bowman, a Senior Partner at Oglivy and founder of The Cross-Cultural Marketing & Communications Association (CCMCA), the New General Market is a term referring to the 99% or so of the world that isn’t made up of straight, white, middle-class males.
Secondly, diversity benefits your company because diversity equals innovation. That means you will have a heads-up on new trends, processes, and possible-use scenarios that your competitors haven’t thought of because they spend all their time hanging out with, to put it bluntly, themselves.
So how can you, CEO of a startup, increase diversity in your company? Here are three relatively simple ways.
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