Embracing Equity For Building A Household Favorite Brand
Diversity is an essential ingredient for any company’s success. Diverse companies are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, all leading to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns.
For startups, diversity, equity and inclusion have proven to be a critical factor for success, and how it helps startups build and grow a brand into a household favorite loved by everyone.
It’s easy and comfortable to hire people who look, talk, or think like you. But when you do that, you run the risk of conformity, which discourages innovative thinking. This is perhaps why inclusive companies are 1.7x more innovative when compared to companies that aren’t diverse or inclusive. When people with different backgrounds and perspectives come together, they are more likely to generate new ideas and approaches. Diversity promotes creativity because it challenges the team to think outside the box and consider perspectives that are different from their own.
At Rabbit, we see this every day. From a brand perspective, we need to maintain a brand persona and voice that appeals to every member of the household, and the diversity of our team is what makes this possible. Every discussion generates an invaluable stream of micro insights into real-life consumer moments that formulate the basis for many core decisions. We believe this is critical to our success as a company with “customer obsession” as its top cultural value.
I wouldn’t think we would have ever been the beloved household brand we are today without these perspectives in the room, not just across gender, but also age, professional background, life experiences, not to mention cultural nuances. Deciding what products to stock, which bundles are most attractive, what offers to invest in are all informed by the conversations we have every day.
Moreover, as the head of marketing for an e-commerce company in a market where less than 5% of retail (and 0.5% of grocery) is sold online, my team is in the business of marketing not only our company’s value prop, but oftentimes the idea of buying household needs online altogether. We are competing with the user’s favorite brick and mortar store. You don’t know who’s on the other end of the screen: a woman, man, parent, teenager, or but your success rests on successfully anticipating their needs and decision process. You wouldn’t even have a chance there with a team cut from the same mold.
A diverse team brings a variety of viewpoints and experiences to the table, which can help the team to identify new ideas and approaches that they may not have considered otherwise. Diversity also helps to create a culture of open-mindedness, where different opinions are valued, and everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute.
Although diversity and inclusion in the workplace have been on the radar of every company for decades, the numbers still lag behind. Women remain underrepresented in tech leadership, and the pay gap persists. Up to 97% of companies have senior-leadership teams that fail to reflect the demographic composition of the labor force and population of the country they operate in, and only make 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. Zooming in on startups, Women represented just 14% of solo startup founders in 2021 and received just 2% of VC capital invested in 2022.
The business case for doing better couldn’t be more evident. A 2016 study of 20,000 companies in 91 countries showed that companies with more female executives were more profitable. A McKinsey study of 1,000 large companies revealed that diverse teams are 35% more likely to perform better, and they’re 87% better at making decisions.
Teams with more women are also more attractive for top notch talent. Women are far more likely to consider joining a company if there was at least one woman involved in their interview process. This is crucial for startups, where they can’t afford to make the wrong hire.
When you make the workplace a better place for women, you make it better for everyone. I am proud to be #EmbracingEquity this IWD.