Last week, I wrote about early-stage startups investing in diversity and inclusion, but much of the progress I’m seeing in the startup ecosystem with regard to belonging and equity is happening a bit further down the journey. For many growth-stage startups, where scaling valuations tend to precede scaling recruiting operations and HR functions, building inclusive workforces is becoming every bit as essential as driving customer growth.
Just a couple years ago when Amber Madison and Liz Kofman-Burns founded Peoplism, an end-to-end diversity, equity and inclusion consulting firm, they didn’t immediately know which types of companies would be most receptive to their emphasis on sustainable, long-term work rather than one-off trainings. Recently, they’ve come to realize growth-stage startups are ripe with opportunities to build more equitable workplaces. Their experiences both before and after George Floyd’s death have given them a rare perspective on what conditions must be present for these fast-growing startups to build diverse and inclusive cultures.
Executive buy-in is essential, but D&I is a team effort.
While many companies view diversity, equity and inclusion as a nice-to-have attribute restricted to the human resources function or led by an unpaid volunteer committee, Everlaw has made DEI a critical component of the company’s roadmap.
Everlaw began working with Peoplism in Fall 2019, formulating their year one roadmap right before the company’s Series C raise. In the year-plus since announcing their $62 million Series C round co-led by CapitalG and Menlo Ventures in March 2020, Everlaw has grown to over 300 employees from under 200 employees.
“Our philosophy is rooted in driving outcomes with intentional processes, and it became apparent very quickly that the processes that we needed to examine lived across all of our people practices: how we attract, hire, and nurture talent,” said Everlaw’s Se