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As Promised – An Accountability Update

By Amanda Richardson, CEO

Earlier this summer, as part of marking Juneteenth, I wrote about what our small but mighty company would do to be thoughtful, intentional and active in anti-racism efforts. We committed to sharing our progress, good and bad, on a quarterly basis.

Keeping that promise seems especially important now as our nation gets closer to a presidential election, deals with the fallout of a Supreme Court vacancy, tracks the fires raging on the West Coast, continues to wrangle with the pandemic and all the other events that are affecting our lives. But racism won’t be dismantled if people don’t take action – people like you, people like I’m blessed to work with at CoderPad, and people like me.

In June, we committed to making concerted efforts to be the change we want to see. Our original goals were aggressive, matching the passion we have for these issues. While we did not meet all of our goals exactly, we have made progress.

  • As a result of last quarter’s team discussions, we voted to hire an intern who would be valued for their skills and experience – and also help us reach our goal of creating a team that improves diversity in our community. Then we decided that wasn’t going far enough: we should have at least one full-time technical hire. That’s what led us to…
  • YearOne! We are the first customer of YearOne, a Black-owned start-up and TechStars KC accelerator member. This remarkable company provides access to a rich source of vetted, diverse software developers from coding academies all across the U.S. They’re sending us screened candidates to interview, and we couldn’t be more excited and grateful.
  • We’re pushing hard on creating a team that’s more representative of the world we live in – and frankly, will help us see blind spots and create a better product through more diversity in the solutions and ideas on the team. To that end, as we continue to grow our organizational capacity, we are committed to ensuring we have a diverse slate of candidates for future openings to ensure we present opportunities to those who are woefully underrepresented in our industry.

    As a collective, we just need to make the extra effort to get a diverse candidate pool and reach beyond our immediate networks. Shout out to our recruiter Jenny Jongejan for making this happen. I look forward to making more progress on building a team that looks much more like our community and world. The talent is out there.

As we approach the end of 2020, we are trying to do things that stick, that lay the groundwork that shapes the culture of CoderPad. Among these efforts for Q4, we’re focusing on:

Extending an offer to at least one technical hire brought to us by YearOne
Creating a vision statement for the company that clearly articulates our sincerity around developing a more inclusive, and less biased, technical hiring process

We’re sincere about putting the time, work and commitment to anti-racism in every way we can. We are focused on creating a more inclusive and diverse team, while building a product that is inclusive and reduces bias. I talk about it every week. On every level – individual, business, community, society as a whole – anti-racism work is the work not of a moment but of a lifetime. Will we get it wrong sometimes or move slower than we anticipated? Yes. And yet, the work will continue. We will continue. No matter what.