The freedom to be yourself is an amazing thing. It’s powerful and fundamental. It’s something everyone deserves. Life is short and everyone should be proud to be himself, herself or themselves.
Given that it’s Pride Month, I thought I’d share a couple thoughts about what it means to be proud at Crayon.
We have a deeply held value at Crayon around inclusivity for two reasons:
First, we’re inclusive out of a basic sense of humanity and “the right thing to do”. Prejudice should not exist. It’s that simple. It’s evil and unnatural. At Crayon, we believe folks should build relationships and make judgments based on what they directly experience of a person, not on their background or other characteristics.
Tiffany, a member of our sales team, wrote a Pride Month post last year talking about her journey to freedom and pride as a lesbian. It’s a pretty amazing story so please go and read it! A quote that stuck with me:
“Crayon is a place where everyone, from the top down, is committed to being part of positive conversations that promote diversity and inclusion, and it has absolutely fostered my own PRIDE in both this company and in myself.”
What a powerful and amazing thing to be part of such an inclusive culture, and what an honor it is to work with people like Tiffany who celebrate the freedom to be themselves!
The second reason we value inclusivity at Crayon is a bit less high minded :), but very much part of who we are. We value inclusivity because it helps us build a great business in a very practical way. We are unapologetically ambitious and economically rational, and we believe that inclusivity is one of the ways we reach our potential as a company. Let me explain:
We’re creating a category and building something big at Crayon. To do that we need to recruit and retain the best people, regardless, of course, of background, and then make sure that diverse group flourishes and puts forth a wide range of ideas and viewpoints, which in turn helps us innovate and make better decisions.
Then this becomes a positive flywheel that makes it easier for us to recruit a wider range of superstars in the future - the advantage compounds. For example, if I were a rising star in product, I might be pretty interested in joining Crayon’s product team, where the majority of the team, including 100% of the managers and leaders - and even our CPO, Erica Jenkins, are women.
Let me close with a call to action for my fellow founders, CEOs, and leaders of all stripes building companies. This goes for angel investors as well. If you’re committed to diversity and inclusion, please consider working with Gaingels. We were lucky enough to have Gaingels as an investor in our $22M Series B when we celebrated our 500th customer last year, and they have been a fabulous partner. Gaingels is the world's largest investor network focused on diversity in venture capital, and we included them in our Series B to demonstrate and further our commitment to diversity, inclusion and pride! Gaingels also brought a ton of diversity to our cap table and jumped in to help us recruit LGBTQ+ and minority candidates, including helping with the search that led to our welcoming Claire Vo to our board this year.
Happy pride month everyone!
On behalf of everyone at Crayon: be yourself and celebrate yourself!!
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