Braver Together: Practising the Principle

Gabriela HershamCEOHuckletree2/10/2021

The words ‘Braver Together’ are words that form such a critical part of our mission and that underpin our principles. 

They mean that we recognise the different values that each and every one of our personal stories bring, that we embrace and welcome everyone and that a diverse, representative community is the only community we want to be part of, or to have a hand in building. It also means that we need to stand up to the things that are uncomfortable and invisible - to break them in order to rebuild something better.

We’re as passionate about supporting equality within the ecosystem as we are within our own team. We pledge to use our platform and our growing team to spur positive change. To help ensure that there is meaningful representation in all rooms at Huckletree. So that minorities including People of Colour and all other under-represented groups can not only see themselves as employees at Huckletree, but as employees with equal chances of climbing to the top of the ladder.

We are striving to build as diverse a team as possible and whilst we aren’t yet perfect, we’re proud of our efforts and the values that we embed into our recruitment process. Across 2020, 47% of our team enjoyed Diversity and Inclusion training programmes because we believe that we can all, always, do better in tearing down biases, celebrating diversity and being a truly inclusive workplace. More to do, more to come. 

On paper, we run spaces for people to come together and work. You may read this and think it’s not our place to have a point of view.  But given the thousands of people who come through our hubs each day (or right now, virtually), the freedom of ideas exchanged, the connections and friendships made, and the progress we are trying to collectively build in various industries, we know that we cannot sit on our hands. Because if we turn our eye to grave injustices that impact members of our community, then what sort of community are we? What great innovative impact will we have on the world if not everyone has the chance to be invited into the room, to have a seat at the table or even afforded the opportunity to realise what they’re made of? And what message would we be sending to our people, to our kids?

We have a zero-tolerance policy on racism and discrimination within our team and our community. We recognise the importance of building inclusive spaces and that psychological safety is as important as physical safety. Our spaces can be a refuge and our teams will be trained to know how to support you. Our doors will be open to those who need us, whether members or not. 

Lastly, through the efforts of our Alpha accelerator programme (which is only available to founders from diverse backgrounds and is 100% pro-bono) our Fairer Funding campaign (which aims to embed equality for all founders in their attempts at raising capital) and our Ambasador Programme (where we’re working towards building a truly representative community) we’re actively striving to build more representation and inclusivity into the wider startup ecosystem. 

All this said, we’re equally conscious that these actions on their own are not enough, and so today we are reinforcing our commitment to further use our community to promote diversity, equality and inclusion. These past few months have sadly reminded us that we need to be more hyper-aware and more proactive about the threats that are invisible, nuanced and swept under the carpet - not just those that are most visible.

Finally, to our members, ambassadors, entrepreneurs and friends in the Black community and beyond: we don’t just see you. We celebrate you, and we advocate for you. And we will continue to strive to do better by you.

Gabriela Hersham

Gaby has built our vision and culture since we first opened doors in 2014, leading our corporate strategy, product and innovation. An advocate for diversity in entrepreneurship, Gaby is an advisor and coach for early-stage founders and a speaker and panelist on the Future of Work and diverse leadership (check out her TEdX talk). Outside of work, Gaby is usually dancing around her kitchen with her two little ones, Jack and Andrea and her hubby Antoine. Superpower: Executive calm under pressure.


Related Posts