It’s human nature to be drawn to those who are similar to us. But that’s not usually what’s best for us, and it’s certainly not best for businesses, especially startups. The last thing a new company needs is to live in an echo chamber of its own ideas. In order to innovate and thrive, you need a variety of perspectives. That’s why focusing on diversity in the hiring process is a must.
Why Diversity Matters
It’s understandable that diversity isn’t the first thing on a startup's mind in the beginning. When there are only a few people on staff and you’re just trying to get your idea off the ground, you can’t think beyond what’s in front of you. You haven’t yet begun to scale.
But once you do enter the scaling stage, you’re going to want to surround yourself with a diverse group of people as quickly as possible. A diverse team is a more creative team. Maintaining diversity is one of the best ways to improve your company’s ability to problem solve. Think of it this way: if you’re attempting to grow into new markets, how will you target new ones if your entire company is run by people within the same target audience? If you want to expand geographically, how do you expect to do so if you all live in one place? If you want to diversify your product, how can you without people from multiple disciplines? Having a diverse staff encourages new ways of thinking and will help you conquer goals and solve problems with success.
What Diversity Looks Like
There are a number of areas in which you can diversify your team, such as:
- Racial, socioeconomic, gender, and cultural diversity — having a team with people from many different backgrounds will provide new insights and nuances you would miss otherwise.
- Education, career, and discipline diversity — you need a wide breadth of knowledge to make a startup a success, and that includes making sure your team isn’t composed of people with only similar work experience.
- Geographic diversity — if you want to scale, that includes geographically. Having team members across the country or globe will help get you there.
- Mind diversity — you want to hire people who think in unique and interesting ways to avoid having a stagnant approach and encourage innovation.
How We’re Diversifying Our Team
In 2022, the Onward team grew by 130%. Throughout our hiring processes, we always kept diversity in mind. That includes cultural inclusion, as well as diversity in how people think. We want people from different backgrounds in order to help us innovate. We may be a company focused on the oil and gas industry, but many of us didn’t start there — and that’s key to us coming up with new ideas. Women make up one third of our leadership team, and we are a remote-first company with team members all over the world. Focusing on diversity within our company has made our company better and led to innovative solutions we never would have found otherwise. We want to continue to promote inclusion — in our company and our industry as a whole — because we believe that’s our best chance of making our world a better one.
Be part of the community that will transform our energy future.