Why Any Company Truly Committed to DEI & Equality Should Never Have A White CEO (Part 1)
AKA Why My Former Startup No Longer Exists
I’ve skirted around the margins and edges of this and said it out loud to a few people and now it’s time to set it in
A company truly and deeply committed to DEI, anti-racism and equality of all kinds cannot be this or do this under the stewardship of a white person at the very top.
I say this from recent lived experience of co-founding a company with a white woman, which had significant potential…but which, two years later, is no longer in existence.
[This isn’t an isolated experience, it happens all the time to Black and Brown people]
Omnis Education, my former startup, had huge potential…
This was an EdTech company that we raised half a million dollars of pre-seed funding for in record time (about 8 weeks).
This was a company that had scaled from 2 to 30 people within the space of 3 months (then settled back down to a more manageable 15).
This was a company that had a number of large ($10m+) potential clients/projects in the pipeline who wanted to use the EdTech platform we were building for exciting, game-changing use cases (from educational entertainment to climate change).
This was a company that we took to a satellite event at the World Economic Forum and received yet more positive responses.
This was a company that we’d figured out a compelling, and engaging answer to the question:
If you could start from scratch with a blank canvas and design a curriculum and model of education that better prepares kids for the world today, what would you do?
This was a company that was going places. But now?
It no longer exists after the CEO called a shareholder meeting requesting the dissolution of the company a month ago.
How on earth did it get to this stage? If you’ve read the reason I resigned from this startup back in June, this carries on the saga because it clearly didn’t end there!