Why Diversity Matters At Startups In Tense Times


There was a time when I looked to find a home at a startup, and large team pages had more photographs of office pets than they did people of color. I wondered how it’s possible for this group to consider the needs of users of all types and backgrounds.

Now, as a tense climate reemerges in America – it’s more important than ever for startups to be prepared to speak out. This is why diversity and inclusion matters. When there are no representatives on your team that can relate to any major issues or injustices, from race to sexual orientation, that’s an issue. Especially if that’s what keeps you from speaking up, or even caring.

As I type this post, protests and riots are occurring in almost every state, and the tech industry as a whole is mighty quiet. A lot of the resources I use on a daily basis for UX and web design have large platforms and are silent about current issues.

Others, have spoken up.


Like Figma:

Like Teachable:

Like Shopify:

While not all startups are equipped to share money, it costs nothing to share resources or pledge to work on diversity and inclusion within their own organizations. It’s not “being political”, it’s being human.

As a designer, I have pledged time and resources to help businesses who were looted set up shop on Shopify. My effort became backed and amplified on both Shopify + Shopify Plus’ Twitter platforms. If small individuals can do things to help, then surely your VC-backed startup can try. Your users are looking at you, and they matter.