Everyone keeps banging on about diversity in the tech industry, pointing out unsavoury statistics and preaching the importance of fair representation. So we know it’s a moral obligation to do so but what about the business benefits? Well, luckily for me (and now you) I have had front row seats to see the advantages of having a truly international work force.
Within our tech startup, there are people from India, France, Ukraine, Iran, Hong Kong, Canada and probably other nationalities that I have forgotten to mention. As a tech startup about to go global with our crowdfunding campaign next month, we have benefited in many ways. Such as:
We get messages, emails, calls from people from around the world all hours of the day across many time zones. And even though we are clearly an English speaking company, we still receive messages in foreign languages. Google Translate is great but nothing beats having staff who can relate to our customers in their native tongue.
Fast growing markets such as India and Brazil are now never out of our reach because we have the personnel with the cultural know-how to prep us when we target new international territories.
In most startups, small favours are a godsend as current resources tend to be stretched thin. It’s nice to know we have access to a web designer who can charge a little less or a copywriter who can be trusted. Outsourcing is a thing not just for big corporations but for even smaller firms too.
And the best part of having a colleague with India-based contacts who can design at a lower rate is that he can also overcome the language barrier. Essentially there’s no confusion when submitting design briefs and the outcome always meets our high expectations.
Then there are the press relations because getting through to key journalists locally is hard enough. Having access to journalists in other continents expands the reach of our communications, creates new opportunities overseas and allows us to truly have a global presence.
When you have a collaborative atmosphere and a diverse team, you can solve problems from many more angles. It’s a recipe for innovation in any organisation when people from different backgrounds can come together and brainstorm their organisation to success. A very important factor if you are a start-up who wishes to get bigger and better.