At a key time for communities of color, Etsy has decided to embrace diversity in its workforce.
According to HR Dive, 15% of the Brooklyn-based online artisanal marketplace’s hires are black and Latino employees, “more than double the company’s numbers by 2018.”
This has been a trend that has continued over the past few years, increasing from 8.5% to 11% and now to 15%, according to Elizabeth Spector Louden, the company’s chief diversity and inclusion officer.
An Etsy spokesperson said that while Etsy had 1,034 employees worldwide as of September 30, 2019, much of its workforce is concentrated in the United States, with employees of color being part of the engineering division.
The company’s plan is to support workforce diversity initiatives over the next several months that include a sponsorship program, a mentoring program, and proposals for inclusion of veterans, older workers, and the disabled.
Another plan, Louden explained on the company’s blog, is to donate space at its Brooklyn headquarters to Code Nation, a nonprofit technology education organization that “teaches students in underserved schools,” as well as to maintain gender equality on the staff — where “women represent 50% of the company’s overall employee base, executive team, and board of directors.
This type of investment in diversity is not in vain.
A Wall Street Journal report in October 2019 found that the most diverse companies in their hiring “generally performed better financially over five and 10-year periods than non-diverse firms.”
Also, a recent Adobe report found that 61% of Americans “say inclusivity is important in advertising and 38% are more likely to trust a brand that does well in showing inclusiveness in their advertisements.”
However, it’s not just about inclusion, it’s about transforming workspaces.
The struggle for democratization of workspaces has been hard but constant, and its results seem to be changing strategy in all spheres, especially in leadership.
“Despite the reality that the U.S. will soon become a minority-majority population, this is not reflected in leadership, particularly in corporate leadership,” explains the Kaleidoscope Group, a company focused on diversity and inclusion solutions.
Citing figures from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the company describes how companies with “30% of its leaders being female earn 6% more in profits compared to those without female leadership.”
Similarly, firms in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity being “35% more likely to have financial returns above the national industry means.”