STB's Official, No-Bullshit Statement on Diversity

“We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly” - Margaret Atwood

There’s no point making a safe, comfortable statement about diversity. So I’m not going to.

I am a woman carving out a career in Growth Marketing. While being location independent. In Asia. Do you know what they call diversity, in this situation? Neither do I. Something that doesn’t exist can’t be named.

To the digital bromad in Chiang Mai who told me he didn’t hire women because they don’t fit his company’s culture. To the client who told my business partner that he thought he was “making me wet” because I had touched my hair during a meeting. To every dude who thought the extra brain in his dick knew better than I did. To all the men who run companies on foundations of misogyny and sexism. To every last one of you: fuck. right. off.

The world has come so far.. and holy fuck do we still have a long way to go.

There is diversity in life. That’s a given. This necessarily means there needs to be diversity in business. Sometimes you would think this is rocket science. It isn’t, and it shouldn’t be. There are too many examples of companies coming under fire for toxic corporate culture, horrible hiring practices, and even just dumb comments about female and minority employees. It would be a waste of time to link them here. You’ve seen them.

Everyone has different experiences because of their background. Everyone looks different. There are different genders. There are different colours. There are differences. Ignoring differences is straight up ignorance masquerading as woke-ness. Don’t be that asshole.

Acknowledging that experiences, genders, colours, and backgrounds intersect in ways that make speaking to a larger audience than generic white guys how businesses succeed. I admit that I can only speak for my own experiences, and that it’s worse for minorities, and worse still for female minorities. But this acknowledgement shouldn’t be read as acceptance. Because it’s not. I do not accept worse treatment than my business partner. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to put anyone else through worse treatment based on something they have no control over.

Having different and varied experiences in your company should not be looked at as a hinderance or a “favour.” Diversity is fucking good for you. It means that your team and company can see things that others can’t, address problems in new and creative ways, and speak to more than that white dude in flip flops.

Hey, Chiang Mai bromad! Saying that you want to hire only people similar to yourself is using ‘company culture’ as a crux, and a cheap way to declare that you don’t need or want diversity. Everyone needs it. The same group of 5 white guys in their late 20’s will never speak to someone outside this demographic, and that sure as shit means your product or service won’t resonate with anyone else either.

Diversity problems can derail success stories. You can be lauded as a golden child of ‘disruption’ and quickly descend to ‘villain’ status when word of your bullshit practices leak. Need a better reason to practice diversity, other than common sense and human decency? A lack of diversity in a company is not only bad for your bottom line, it means your people skills and relatability to others is garbage. Just like Facebook might not be the success story it is today without the addition of Sheryl Sandberg, you don’t know what you’re missing when you discount everyone who isn’t you, because they’re not you.

Only hiring men? You’re ignoring 50% of the workforce. Only hiring people that look like you? Might as well say a hearty fuck off to creativity and profitability. While also looking like the ignorant jerk you probably are.

To those who give a shit about being a good person: make your business represent how you see an ideal world. Not there yet? Make it better. Diversity programs are big things at the corporate level, but they’re usually just lip service. Which is bullshit. Don’t just have tokens when the real thing is proven to help your company grow and innovate.  

We’ve touched on the importance of diversity a few times in various blog posts and on our website, but it’s time to get real and state our wholehearted commitment. From day one, it’s been vital for STB to promote diversity amongst our team, seek it out with our clients, and stand by this commitment in everything we do. We won’t work with anyone who doesn’t also have these ideals.

Think we could do better? Call us out on it. We’re listening.

elizabeth mcintyre