SVB’s collapse has spawned endless think pieces and countless industry reverberations. Among the ugliest realities highlighted is a persistent belief that efforts to diversify business, finance and tech are a weakness rather than a strength.
The Wall Street Journal OpEd suggesting a focus on diversity had distracted from bank business spurred the predictable politicization, which has exploded with a vengeance.
Phenomenal Ventures’ Helen Min tweeted about VC’s collective realization that “the Valley has a public image problem, suggesting we increase PR efforts and participation in politics to make clear that Silicon Valley problems are every American's problems…” including investing in more underrepresented founders.To which I replied with The Key’s commitment to preferential pricing for women and other underestimated founders (read - underfunded) to help rebalance the ecosystem’s economics.
And oh! The trolls. From explicit hate to accusations of racism and sexism to hope that my business would fail, it bounced off my thick skin. And it would have been much worse/more personal if I presented less white, attractive, and able-bodied. The shaming, antisemitism and other assaults against women who’ve spoken up only proves how important it is that we do.
Thinking about The Key PR’s mission to Tell a New Story - including who is featured - and our Key Agreement to Break Down Systems of Oppression, it’s clear that commitment to elevating new, diverse voices is critical to the success of our industry and our planet. And it’s great business. This is not an either/or kind of choice.
These stories need to be told; not as exceptions, special sections or anomalies, but because the founders are brilliant, the solutions essential, and the impact far-reaching. Some recent highlights of relevant work from – Good Clean Love, Rubi Laboratories, Writer, and buyVerde show women leaders making an impact; The Key is honored to play a part in telling their story:
- Writer’s May Habib discussed how her generative AI reduces sexist and other prejudiced communication in enterprises (https://bit.ly/3JPMyf6)
- Vogue Business (https://bit.ly/3ZUJYKI) and Axios (https://bit.ly/3mRt1ly) featured Rubi’s Neeka Mashouf partnering w/ Reformation, Ganni A/S, H&M and Patagonia to decarbonize fashion.
- Lauren Start from women-owned/operated Good Clean Love (http://bit.ly/3YYhfmX), on how we’ve helped educate consumers on vaginal health & wellness: “A pleasure to work with! Your ability to create impactful strategies and then pivot…as our business focus changes is best-in-class partnership and thinking!”
This inclusive, thoughtful approach benefits all of our clients, not only women and BIPOC folks. Our team intentionally represents and considers the breadth of audiences essential to a successful communications strategy. That perspective helps companies avoid the myopic perspective too common in the Valley.