Diversity in startups: 3 reasons for you to create your strategy

100 Open Startups
4 min readNov 23, 2022

Diversity in startups: if your startup has not yet implemented actions, know that you may be falling behind.

The goal is not to create fear and criticize if your startup has not yet invested in diversity and inclusion policies. It turns out that, today, any type of company, whether startup or not, needs to pay attention to the issue in order to be able to establish a greater presence in the market, based on a culture full of purpose and that embraces its people , from employees to customers. The topic is sensitive, yes, but don’t be afraid to bring the debate to your reality.

Now, if your startup already has a defined strategy, then congratulations! But be warned: just because you’re already working on diversity and inclusion doesn’t mean you don’t need to bring more innovations to address the topic, right?

After all, the concepts of diversity and inclusion are constantly evolving. This is because new studies, perceptions and new strategies, linked to Cultural Transformation , are being developed and applied daily.

In this article, we separate 3 reasons for you to implement diversity and inclusion actions that will revolutionize the way your startup is seen.

Reason 1: Investments

Every startup wants, at some point, to raise money in investment rounds, right? Well, know that investment funds are increasingly demanding in relation to the diversity and inclusion policies that startups have.

Do you want to add more points in a fundraising assessment? So keep in mind the importance of having a program that embraces diversity and inclusion actions.

But it is worth emphasizing: diversity and inclusion go far beyond structuring actions to show that you have a policy that values ​​ethics and morals. Thus, it is necessary to have a solid plan, with mapping, research, data, and a design of how your actions will generate impact in the short, medium and long term.

Reason 2: Brand Recognition

A startup that is diverse and inclusive is able to talk to more personas, directly impacting Brand Awareness . That is, the mapping of potential customers needs to consider the diversity of the public. It is no longer common for you to define a persona with generic characteristics.

Let’s assume that your startup has a product entirely focused on the female gender. Defining only the names, interests, locations, age groups, among other characteristics is enough? Today no more.

There are several social markers that need to be analyzed that will reflect how diverse your personas are. According to the startup Blend.Edu , which specializes in diversity and inclusion, the main social markers are: gender, people with disabilities, racial diversity, the LGBTQIA+ community and social vulnerability.

Also thinking about how inclusive your channels and marketing materials — for example, website, blog, social media and call center — are is of paramount importance. Valuing campaigns that can be consumed by all is inclusion.

Working, then, with diversity and inclusion as part of a brand recognition strategy, your startup increases the chances of being remembered, therefore increasing the scalability of the business.

Reason 3: Team Engagement

And when you look inside your startup, does it promote diversity and inclusion for employees? Who are they? What are your interests? Where they live? What minority groups are they part of?

The work environment goes far beyond being a place focused entirely on business, sales, growth. Companies that continue to take this narrow view tend to have very high employee turnover. And this can have several explanations: lack of a culture that sees the employee as a PERSON , resistance to the new, lack of diversity and inclusion.

A company’s culture needs to be planned WITH and FOR employees . Thus, a diversity and inclusion program needs to contain communication actions, training, capacity building , infrastructure and accessibility plans, considering physical and digital spaces, data on employees, creating spaces for exchanging information, such as reporting channels, among others. .

Actions like those mentioned reinforce the purpose and value of the brand towards its members, and it is proven: engagement and satisfaction increase. Thus, companies that are treating their employees as PEOPLE are able to retain more talent.

Still talking about internal engagement, the startup’s leadership needs to breathe culture, it needs to embrace diversity and inclusion policies and never let go of them. The example will always be leadership. And yes, there is a way to work the business together with diversity and inclusion actions. Planning OKRs, with well-defined metrics, is an example. Thus, business growth goes hand in hand with culture.

And just to reinforce: diversity and inclusion are not HR’s full responsibility, okay? Normally, this topic is only up to the people area, but HR needs to be the facilitator of the discussion, working to unite all areas of the company!

Diversity in startups: getting ideas off the ground

So, convinced of the importance of structuring a diversity and inclusion program? We hope so!

Here, we present only 3 reasons, but you can be sure that the list of positive points is long, and it is quite satisfying when you manage to implement a small point that is part of the diversity and inclusion strategy.