The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in EdTech Startups
The EdTech industry is on the rise, expanding rapidly and winning over new markets day after day. This rapid expansion is powered by startups and companies that are investing in new tools, software, and smart digital resources. While this is great news for educators and students who get to enjoy the products of their hard work, EdTech startups are facing competition like never before.
To stand out from the rest and offer something truly unique, EdTech startups need to work on improving their entire business policy, top to bottom. Company diversity and inclusion should be on the priority list. Below, we’ll discuss why EdTech startups need to recognize it as a prime concern.
Diversity and Inclusion in EdTech Startups
What is Diversity in the Workplace?
Before we break down the importance of diversity and inclusion in EdTech startups, let’s first explain what diversity in the workplace is seen from a global perspective.
Diversity in the workplace is a term that refers to creating a work environment in which we value all opinions, hear out all ideas, and allow for equal opportunities for all team members, regardless of their differences.
Those differences vary in so many ways, but let’s name a few of the most prominent ones:
- sexual orientation
- social background
- formal education
When a workplace embraces diversity, it becomes inclusive. Inclusion in the workplace thus means that there is no discrimination or bias and that each employee feels equally appreciated and valued.
Diversity and Inclusion in EdTech: Why it Matters?
While diversity and inclusion should be something we do naturally and spontaneously, that is not the case in practice. A 2020 study showed that only 26% of the surveyed startups have programs aimed at increasing diversity.
Below, we’ll show you how EdTech companies can benefit from having a diverse team and why inclusion can be the key to their growth and global success.
EdTech is a field that requires startups to bring on board creativity, uniqueness, and fresh ideas. After all, startups are working on creating software and apps that will make teaching and studying more successful, interesting, or even fun.
With a diverse team of people, everyone has a different background story, experience, and even mindset. When you put these people together, you get a creative exchange that is driven by different perspectives and filled with ideas. As a result, your creative exchange will be heterogeneous.
Imagine if everyone on your startup’s team had the same viewpoints, used the same problem-solving skills, or had the same ideas. It would be as if you only have one person on the team. There would be no counter-opinions, objective reasoning, or critical thinking.
This is close to how it would be in a non-diverse team. People would follow the idea of the team leader and simply perform the tasks they were given.
Let’s say you’re looking for professional essay writers for hire. You need them to create content for your startup’s blog. If you don’t diversify, you’ll have blog posts representing only one perspective and attracting only a small group of people.
But a diverse team is completely different. After hearing out different perspectives, the team soon realizes:
- there are different issues they can address
- there are diverse markets they can reach
- there’s more than one solution to a problem
This creates an opportunity to try out different strategies, offer more than one solution, and approach potential customers from a different angle.
Boost of Engagement
Another great thing about diverse teams is that it helps create more engaged and self-confident employees. How? Simply, if the team member feels encouraged to speak their mind and share their thoughts, they’ll be more eager to contribute and take an active role in your team.
EdTech startups can’t afford to have talented people feeling intimidated to contribute. On the contrary, they need everyone on board to bring in as much as possible to the team.
To enter a new market, you need to understand the people who live there. Creating an educational tool for schools in South Africa isn’t the same as creating one for those in the US.
You first need to do the research and gather information about the new market.
But what if there are people in your diverse team who initially belong to the group you’re targeting? Maybe they even speak the language, or you can use IsAccurate to find a translator. You can just find all this information internally.
As a result, a diverse team helps you stay competitive not just in your primary market but in new markets you’re trying to enter. By offering their cultural experience, they’re building you a pathway to make all the right moves and further develop your product.
Being a startup in EdTech, you need to fight for your piece of the market. There’s no room for spending money around or behaving recklessly in any way. Cost reduction is another brilliant benefit you get for creating a diverse and inclusive work environment.
- your employees are focused and motivated
- they’re productive
- they achieve more in less time
With more work being done, your startup is moving forward at a faster pace. This saves you money and allows you to grow at full speed.
Many investors and business people today value diversity in their own business endeavors. They’re more likely to invest in your startup if you share the same business model and vision.
The same goes for customers who would rather buy a product or software from a company that is known for inclusion and non-discrimination.
By running a diverse startup, you’re creating a head start for your company and attracting more people to support you.
There’s no doubt that EdTech startups can only benefit from embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The differences between team members will allow everyone to bring the best from their experience to the table and contribute to the success of every team project.
Hopefully, we’ve helped you understand the huge potential behind making your team more diverse, open-minded, and inclusive.
Elaine Bailey is an EdTech expert and a blogger. She covers topics ranging from EdTech startups to the best product you can use as an educator or a student.