At DecorMatters, as a leading interior design platform, we have grown a design community of diverse, talented app users from a range of backgrounds and professions. For us to reach all of our users and develop the innovative application, diversity and inclusion within our own workforce have been essential.
Most people use modern technology and artificial intelligence (AI) tools as they are convenient, make communication easier, and enrich our lifestyles. To continue enjoying the evolving tech industry to the fullest, diversity must be at the heart of the workspace. These advances must be made for everyone – by everyone.
So, let’s delve deeper. Why is diversity so key for tech startup success in particular? And what does DecorMatters do to tackle gender inequality and support diversity and inclusion?
The State of Workplace Diversity
According to a Women in the Workplace study researching companies in the United States, white men form 68% of C-level executives, while women of color only 4%. The Covid-19 pandemic deepened already existing inequalities in the gender division of labor and intensified the need for global conversations about the impact of systemic racism.
Although there have been active efforts to diversify teams, there is still a gender imbalance, particularly in the tech industry, with a “significant lack of under-represented individuals at the executive level.” With global and remote workforces, it is now essential for companies to employ a diverse set of individuals to be more resilient in the face of future global crises.
In fact, for younger professionals, and many of our app users, diversity isn’t a preference; it is a requirement – companies without a diverse workforce may be avoided altogether.
Reducing Gender Inequality
We cannot deny the advantages of having women in the workforce to make male-dominated industries more accessible, nor that diversity spurs creativity and innovation. Our co-founder and COO, Jing Xue, forged her way into the world of technology entrepreneurship in 2016. As a female founder, she is passionate about encouraging women to enter the tech space as there is a distinct lack of women-centric products.
At DecorMatters, there was never a question about whether women and men could provide equal value to the company; we have both male and female co-founders, which means a balance of leadership styles and competencies.
Both our founders are fascinated by delivering products that can help improve people’s lives and by the idea that building a specific company culture can have a determinate effect on its performance. For example, businesses that are gender-diverse have been associated with a 15% increase in the net revenue margin compared to their competitors. Plus, with 90% of household purchases being made by women, it was vital to have female perspectives for the launch of our app to keep both male and female consumers in mind.
Senior members of leadership teams can support diversity, inclusion, and gender equality by championing a culture of respect, engaging more actively in discussions and projects, and encouraging those who might not otherwise participate. For startups, this could increase employee retention and enhance human interaction at work.
Supporting Diversity and Inclusion
Design and technology are brought together under one roof at DecorMatters, attracting employees from all over the world, with different skill sets and experiences. A variety of voices from diverse cultures, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds bring different perspectives and ways of thinking. With that come more innovative ideas and a business better suited to providing a robust and inclusive end product suitable for all our consumers.
Our interior design app, which uses augmented reality (AR) and AI, has multiple components, including social media, interior design, gaming, and shopping. We have had numerous ideas proposed from our engineering, user interface and experience, and marketing teams, and it’s this open, multidisciplinary approach that made elements of our app stronger.
Some of our team members are from China, where the mobile games market is booming, and they provide plenty of insight into key features we should include. Social media marketing has particularly thrived in the United States, so American colleagues are acutely aware of specific social media trends and what could benefit or harm our design community.
Finally, with a diverse team at a startup company, disagreements are inevitable. Recognizing that everyone has the same goal can shift the perspective on conflict entirely. Facing issues together makes any team stronger, and problems can be resolved through frequent departmental and company team meetings.
Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, entrepreneur, student, or member of a senior leadership team, think about why a difference of opinion is important. A diverse team of colleagues behind an ingenious tech startup means new solutions to overcome challenges and the company will have the capacity to evolve and reach its full potential.
Diverse minds and better team composition mean that your favorite apps and companies will stick around and remain resilient for the future.
Find out more about our team and our mission to redefine the interior design and furniture shopping journey!