25 May Committing To Diversity From Day One: A Founder’s Story
It’s extremely rare for a startup to focus on diversity from day one. But Adam Pisoni, a serial entrepreneur who led software company Yammer to a billion-dollar exit, has decided that it’s absolutely necessary. At his new education technology startup, Abl, he has brought on 12 employees, 69% of which are either women or people of color. He has had great difficulty recruiting his team, but Pisoni is already seeing positive results from an approach that, in a tech community where diverse teams are so uncommon, is nothing short of radical.
Pisoni committed to building a diverse founding team for several reasons, many of which he explained in a January blog post on Medium. Yet his initial motivation was simple. “I just thought it was the right thing to do,” he says. Given corporate America’s expanding focus on diversity and inclusion, he also thinks it will save time and money. “Companies that haven’t done this early are paying a high internal cost,” he says. When they try to improve diversity years after they’ve launched, they must spend time and energy righting the ship.