My earliest memory of being an “other” was in the music room. In elementary school, we memorized the classical composers and I recall all the posters of white men with white wigs and wondering how strange it was that my music teacher was a woman, my mother was also a music teacher and was a woman, and I was a girl singing. Why weren’t any women up there?
Many of us have countless early memories like this and now see this legacy materialize in the modern corporate landscape in executive teams, boards, and general employee populations. While there are a few examples of companies that are leaders in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practices, the vast majority of companies and executives are in the very early prelude of their investment in and commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Catalyzed by the #metoo movement, the death of George Floyd, violence against the AAPI community and far too many other tragic events, the Chief Diversity Officer has become an imperative role in over half of S&P 500 companies. When a new C-level role is created, a budget should necessarily come with it. Mita Mallick, Head of Inclusion, Equity and Impact at Carta, suggests wisely that larger companies should pen a minimum of $2M for their annual budgets. But what world-class software do they have available to them? Until now, the options were fairly limited.
Today, we are thrilled to lead the $4.2M seed round for Mathison, the first scalable technology platform for diversity hiring and inclusion. We are joined by incredible co-investors including SemperVirens, Animo VC, Grand Central Tech, Gaingels, Springbank Collective, and Ashley Flucas. Mathison (named after the middle name of Alan Turing) has the opportunity to be the category defining software solution for DEI. We expect DEI budgets to increase from $14B today to $50B by 2025 and Mathison is well-positioned to be the backbone for all DEI efforts including proactive sourcing, reducing bias, and implementing ongoing inclusive practices.
Dave Walsh and Arthur Woods stood out as founders who were deeply committed to building world-class software to enable all companies to deploy an effective DEI strategy. In our diligence, we heard a few key things from their early customers:
- “We finally have a roadmap.” Many company leaders have good intentions but don’t really know where to start. Mathison offers the Equal Hiring Index which gives teams a straightforward way to assess and evaluate their hiring and equity practices. From there, they can set internal goals and measure progress quarter to quarter.
- “Mathison helps me source more effectively.” Recruiting teams and diverse non-profits are quite fragmented and stretched to make one-off connections. Mathison can enable thousands of employers and underrepresented job seekers to connect more easily through their platform.
- “Mathison is producing results.” While early in their subscriptions, many companies told us that contrary to other solutions they’ve tried, Mathison is actually leading to real hires and improving their hiring processes for a fraction of the cost. As further evidence of results, many of Mathison’s early customers have expanded their contracts significantly.
Critical to our investment in this space is that Mathison walks the walk. Dave, Arthur, and the entire team at Mathison are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive company. 39% of employees identify as BIPOC, 60% as women, and 75% of the leadership team as LGBTQ.
Mathison will also further DEI thought leadership with a book, Hiring for Diversity, coming out in August 2021. I will surely be buying a copy for all of the founders in my network. If you are moved by the mission of helping underrepresented job seekers connect with inclusive organizations, Mathison is hiring and offers a rare opportunity to work on technology with a true social impact.
A huge thank you to Zeeza Cole who was instrumental in this investment and our future of work thesis. Thank you also to Robby Peters and the SemperVirens team for connecting us to the Mathison founders.