Here at Indiegogo, we believe that every business has a responsibility to address racial and gender inequality head on. In the US, about one-third of the population is Black or Latinx, yet only about 20% of businesses are Black- or Latinx-owned. And while whites make up about 60% of the population, white-owned businesses account for about 80% of total revenue throughout the economy. Stark disparities exist for women entrepreneurs as well, with only 4.2% of total revenues economy-wide coming from female-owned businesses.
We take pride knowing that crowdfunding as a sector addresses these issues by giving BIPOC and female-identifying entrepreneurs a way to raise money beyond venture capital and bank loans, two common funding sources that overwhelmingly favor white, male business owners. We’re also proud to elevate BIPOC and female voices across our platform to ensure they get the attention they deserve.
Of course, this isn’t enough. Our anti-racist and anti-sexist work also demands that we assess our own team to understand what we can do better.
How diversity has evolved at Indiegogo
If you’re a regular reader of the Indiegogo blog, you’ll know that every year we publish a Diversity and Inclusion (D+I) report to offer a snapshot of the makeup of the Indiegogo team. (You can find our 2020, 2019, and 2018 reports here.) The crowdfunding community is diverse, and we want to make sure our team represents the voices and backgrounds of the community that we serve. And if we’re not doing a good enough job, we want the wider community to know about it.
Here’s a quick summary of what this year’s numbers reveal:
- Our numbers in most categories were flat year-over-year, despite steady progress over the last five years. This plateau is due to a company-wide hiring freeze at the height of the pandemic.
- Indiegogo remains roughly evenly split by gender, and the share of women in technical roles has doubled in the last 12 months, from 8% to 17%.
- Ethnic diversity overall has increased over the last several years; representation from Asian employees has increased by ten percentage points, though representation from Black and Latinx employees has stayed largely flat.
- Our leadership team has become more ethnically diverse over the last several years, but we have progress to make with regards to Black and Latinx representation on our leadership team.
What we’re doing for diversity going forward
The pandemic in general — and a company-wide hiring freeze in particular — made it difficult to make significant progress toward our diversity goals over the last year. As we look forward, however, we’re taking concrete steps to put ourselves in a strong position over the next 12 months.
Our biggest initiative on this front is a permanent transition to remote-friendly hiring. Starting in 2021, we’ll no longer be requiring new hires to reside in the San Francisco metropolitan area. This will allow us to cast a wider net and find candidates of more diverse backgrounds who also meet the needs of our team.
We also plan to partner with a Black- or Latinx-run nonprofit to help bring in talent who wouldn’t typically apply. We understand the limitations of our own networks, and by partnering with an organization that specializes in expanding it, our aim is to bring in people whose networks don’t have the same limitations. We’ll keep you posted as more developments unfold.
We’re proud of the inroads we’ve made over the last several years when it comes to making our team more representative of the world we live in. But we still have a long way to go. We’re excited to keep the conversation going, and above all, stay transparent. After all, the beauty of crowdfunding is that we’re building something bigger than ourselves, together.