At Yoast, we recognize that having a diverse team is a huge game-changer for creativity. You don’t know what you don’t know. So the more world views, experiences, and opinions you’re able to bring to the table, the better your product will be for a large audience. To us, that matters a lot, because our mission is SEO for EVERYONE.
That’s why inclusiveness and equality are in our core values (see also https://yoast.com/about-us/core-values/…).
But the positive effect of having a diverse team works everywhere. That’s why we founded the Yoast Diversity Fund a few years ago. This fund is aimed at taking away financial barriers that prevent people from typically underrepresented groups in tech from speaking at tech conferences. Getting those groups on the stages of our tech conferences is EXTREMELY important because these speakers are the role models for our youth. And by having a diverse group of role models, we speak to a much broader group to get them interested in a career in tech.
However, the Yoast Diversity Fund can only solve one problem; money. But money isn’t the only problem. We have to actively invite people from typically underrepresented groups to speak at our events. We shouldn’t just open the door for them, we should make sure we actively invite them in.
And that’s where Underrepresented in Tech comes in. It is an extremely valuable resource surfacing all the talent that we have in our community. It helps organizers, podcast hosts, and many others to reach out to people from a typically underrepresented group that might otherwise be outside their usual bubble.
So when Allie reached out for support so she put more time and effort into improving this amazing resource that has the potential to improve our community, and the general tech community, forever, it was an easy decision.
As I said, diversity has always been a priority at Yoast. In our hiring. In our compensation policy. For example, we’re very proud that we don’t have a gender pay gap, and we actively work to keep it that way.
It doesn’t mean we’re done. I don’t think diversity can ever be done. It’s not a checkbox one can tick and then stop thinking about. At Yoast, we still have to do better too. For example, when it comes to hiring people of color, especially in Europe.
An English saying is “put your money where your mouth is”. By offering the Yoast Diversity Fund and sponsoring Underrepresented in tech, this is exactly what we’re doing.
We aim to lead by example, as we always do. And we’re glad Allie is giving us the opportunity to do so, by letting us sponsor her to work on Underrepresented in Tech.