From the beginning of Criteek’s formation as a company, we have been committed to diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion are two buzzwords that everyone likes to throw around, but we take this very seriously. We do not simply desire a diverse employee population that can bring fresh and exciting ideas to our start-up, we want to create a working environment that attracts all people by making them feel safe, included, and valued. All people means people across the spectrum of identity: gender identity, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, disability, mental health, religion, age, and nationality.

For us, it just makes sense to cultivate a space for all people. Not only is it the right thing to do (which is already enough for Criteek), but it will also benefit us significantly. If Criteek can only attract and retain a certain type of employee, then we are losing out on potential talent. If Criteek only knows how to market to a certain segment of the population, then we are losing out on potential profit. We sincerely want to be a company that has a positive, not negative, impact upon the world.

Since we were willing to begin our initiatives for diversity and inclusion so early on in our start-up process, we had an advantage. While some companies wait until they are successful to implement inclusionary policies and initiatives, diversity and inclusion concerns have been emphasized at Criteek from the ground up: the foundations of Criteek have been built with an understanding of the importance of equality.

We believe that this work is never complete. To truly maintain the working culture we desire, we must continue to make Criteek as inclusive as possible. We know that we will make mistakes, but we are determined to apologize, learn from them, and try again. Yes, this work is difficult, but it is necessary for every company that wants to join the future.