Startup Journey
June 10, 2020
3 min.

Black Lives Matter – our stand & commitment

Artwork by Matt Blease

We stand in solidarity with the black community and the BLM movement. We understand that all humans are valuable. We also understand that right now black lives and black voices need to be amplified in the fight against racial discrimination, violence, and injustice.

We are well aware that solidarity alone is not enough. Racism is a complex problem and doesn't disappear unless we make it a priority to educate ourselves on racism, recognize implicit bias, speak up, and act against it.

It requires reforming institutions and systems that reinforce racism in society.

Our Commitment to Inclusion

As founders, by definition, we are creators of institutions. Therefore we can and should take responsibility for the environment and systems we create.

We are proud to be an ethnically diverse team of founders, working in tech, serving people from over 70 different countries in the world, from our homes in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

We’re not just proud of that. For us, diversity and inclusion are core values.

Ever since we started working together as a founding team, we've made it a priority and habit to be inclusive. We celebrate our cultural richness, and don't shy away from having honest and occasionally uncomfortable conversations, including a topic like racism.

There’s a diversity issue in tech, at multiple levels. It’s impossible to become diverse if everybody looks, talks, and thinks alike. Diversity in the workplace comes into existence when conscious attention is being given to inclusion. It can’t be reached when under-represented people struggle to get opportunities or don’t feel represented, causing more implicit bias and racism.

Allyship

We’ve decided that for the rest of 2020, our team will commit 5% of our time to support that cause. We will share updates on our website to stay accountable.

While we have several ideas, we also know there are existing initiatives that we can support and many that never take off. Therefore, we are going to start bottom-up and first listen to the exact communities we are trying to support.

We'll do it in a transparent manner, so anyone can benefit from it and hopefully join.
So far, we started to build a list of resources, initiatives, and communities.

In the next few weeks we'll continue with the following:

  • reach out to the community founders / leaders to offer help / skills / network
  • start mentoring - interested? sign up here
  • set up a page on our website to share our progress

How can you help?

In short - learn, volunteer, and/or donate. Here are some resources, initiatives, and communities to get started:

We will openly collect, prioritize, and share initiatives here: shipright.community/inclusion

Do you work in tech and want to contribute to mentoring, or are you looking for tips and learn together on improving on inclusion and diversity at your company? Feel free to reach out to us.

On behalf of our founding team: Frank Lagendijk, Gino Mangnoesing, Lennart Nederstigt, and Steven Aanen.

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