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Why it’s time to invest in building an inclusive culture, not more diversity programs

When I founded Frank out of college, even my mom thought I was just “unemployed.” The only stories my mom had heard of about startup founders were of male founders who dropped out of college to start a company out of their garage. That wasn’t me.

Little do those stories tell you that the garage is often attached to a five- or six-bedroom home in a beautiful suburb and that the initial employees or cofounders also had the luxury of not getting paid for a considerable amount of time. This meant that the early teams were and still are almost always white males with little financial responsibility, prior high-paying jobs, and/or tons of family support.

While I understand the cash constraints all too well and hiring people who only “need” equity is a big temptation, I also knew that this would have long-term irreversible consequences for my company.

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