Why HubSpot for Startups is supporting Diversity and Inclusion

A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of being a part of 500 Startups Unity + Inclusion Summit in NYC. 500 Startups is a global seed fund who’s mission aims to empower entrepreneurs of “all shapes, genders, and nationalities.” There were so many inspiring people from many different backgrounds, at Galvanize in West Soho, a New York Entrepreneurship and Tech Learning Space. I felt completely inspired and optimistic after being in the presence of so many amazing believers, fighters, trailblazers and game changers. In a world that can feel so heavy at times, these startups and founders had the energy on that rainy NYC Saturday, to be building something special, they continue to inspire so many of us. #keepgoing

These founders should be invested in, the majority of the time — not the minority of the time. The data tells a compelling story, here are a few data points that more investors, family and friends of the startup world should be paying attention to:

The topic of how and why building diverse startup teams from the beginning is one that is near and dear to my heart. As someone who has had the opportunity to build teams, I don’t take this responsibility lightly. It’s up to founders, leaders and hiring managers to remember the statistics, and execute on building diverse teams, why? Because it matters. Our team specifically at HubSpot, the HubSpot for Startups team, is diverse in many ways. When I was the first employee I spoke to a mentor and said, I need to hire a #2, someone who is going to help build this startup division inside of HubSpot. The advice was clear, hire someone who is different than you, hire someone who has a lot of the strengths that you don’t. Great advice, but easier said than done. Step 1, is to do a self assessment and understand what you are good at, recognize it, and hire someone who is different than you. There are arguments to be made and it’s easy to hire someone that likely was from the same privilege as yourself, many founders argue that similar thinking is what prevails the startup forward in early days.

For me, the importance of diversity and inclusion goes beyond the data, it’s personal, for three reasons:

  1. The team we are building: if we are going to help millions of startups grow better with HubSpot (which I hope we will!), we need a team of diverse leaders to help us attract and engage the best founders in the world. I came from tech sales, which has a reputation for not being historically diverse, so when it came to building my own team I took an active interest as a hiring manager in ensuring we have a mix of opinions, experiences, ethnicities, genders, and viewpoints to inform our team and our strategy for the long haul.
  2. The startups we support: As someone who came to the States from Canada it’s imperative to me that we recognize how many startups globally are started by first generation entrepreneurs, and that we want to, as 500 Startups articulates, help a truly diverse set of founders grow their organizations.
  3. The customers they will help grow: Ultimately, startups exist to make a dent in the world and to transform how we work and live for the better. It’s imperative that we support startups that truly serve the world at large.

HubSpot for Startups is grateful to be part of thousands of our customer’s journeys, we look forward to helping many more and telling their authentic stories. As Dharmesh wrote in a recent customer letter, we love startups.

Keep building, keep fighting, keep going,

Kim